Saturday, April 5, 2014

Clifford's Tower, York

Clifford's Tower was built during King Henry III's reign (1216-1272). The tower was originally the center of York Castle on top of a motte that gives it a commanding view of the town and the countryside.

Clifford's Tower, York

J and L ready to ascend

The name became Clifford's Tower after the Clifford family became the constables of the castle. The constable was someone in charge of a castle while the lord (or king) was away.

View from the entrance of some of the castle buildings (now the York Castle Museum)

The interior of the tower originally had a square stone keep in the middle, creating various rooms for visitors. A fire gutted the tower in 1684. The central keep was cleared away in the 1700s, leaving a large, empty area inside. It's clear from the walls that at least two floors filled the interior.

Interior with a group listening to a storyteller

J recovered from that sneeze

We found a grate covering what used to be the tower's well. We thought it might be a dungeon but the guide book informs us otherwise.

The well

J soon found the stairs leading to the wall-walk. It had his favorite type of stairs, too!

What's up there?

Fun stairs!

On the first floor is the remains of the tower's chapel. It would have been highly decorated in the past but now only fancy carved arches remain.

J in the chapel

We went up another staircase and came out on the top of the walls. The view was pretty fantastic. I suppose I should mention at this point L was not with us. She decided not even to climb the motte up to the tower. That's why she isn't in any pictures.

The River Ouse

The Eye of York and the York Castle Museum buildings

The fire department

The Hilton Hotel

St. Mary (pointy tower), All Saints (the square tower behind the tree) and York Minster (the big one in back)

The wall-walk also gives a nice view inside the tower.

The entrance and the shop (black tent)

The storyteller

Another staircase took us downstairs where we rested for a bit before leaving the tower. It's a fun place to visit and doesn't take too long.

J's well-earned rest

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