Sunday, 18 October 2015

Clifford's Tower

Clifford's Tower. Not a great picture. I refer you to English Heritage to provide excellent photos and comprehensive information about this unique historical site!

This is one of two things ticked off The List on our recent trip to York. For years I've been aware of the tower on the hill in the city centre of York. I've parked near it many times, used it as a point of reference, and at school learnt that this is an excellent example of a motte and bailey. But until last month, I had never been inside.
With the recent discovery of our English Heritage membership, it seemed impolite not to pay a visit while we were walking the Bar Walls.

Admittedly we only paid a fleeting visit. We climbed the hill (steeper than we thought), and then climbed up once again inside. There is a walkway around the top of the tower allowing fabulous views across the city.

Once again, this was a little more scary than I'd hoped. I don't seem to get on too well with heights anymore it seems. So my walk around the top was rather quick while holding on to all the railings available. I only managed a few photos too as I really did want to get back down.

Phew. Back at the bottom.
I won't re-write the information from the guidebook or the English Heritage website, but I was interested to learn that it was the site of the mass suicide and massacre of York’s Jewish community in 1190 and the tower as we see it today was not the original structure on the site. I somehow thought that Clifford's Tower had always been there. Shows what I know! One thing I do know is that it was smaller than I remember and imagined it to be. Then again, I was smaller when I was at school, but it did kind of have an inverted tardis feel (geek!) It always seems to look massive from the car park!

This is another case of acting like a tourist in your own town. Clifford's Tower is a landmark in York, but until now, one that I knew very little about.

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