Clifford’s Tower

imageClifford’s Tower has an interesting yet horrible history, and with English Heritage membership making it free entry for me, it is seemed silly not to nip in while having an afternoon of history in York. It is the only remaining part of what once was a huge Norman castle overlooking the town, and was used for various royal officials and events over the years. However, it may be more famous as the site where around 150 Jews were burnt in the anti-Semitic riots of 1190 and as such does hold a few events throughout the year to commemorate this and promote more understanding between cultures etc.

imageIt is quite small, and you can see everything in about half an hour, if that, so without membership it might be a bit expensive for what it is. There are information boards dotted around but they don’t provide that much, and because of the fire and subsequent being left to ruin there isn’t a whole lot to see. You can climb to the top, which has a brilliant view over York as long as you don’t mind heights and steep, narrow staircases!

imageOverall, it is a little disappointing to be honest, which is a shame since it’s such a big part of York’s history. I’d say worth it with EH membership, but not without unless you want to get the admittedly very good guidebook as well to make the place come alive.


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