The large stone tower, which we now know as Clifford’s Tower, was built in the 1250s during the reign of King Henry III.
The fascinating story of Clifford’s Tower will finally be told thanks to a major investment by English Heritage at one of York’s most important heritage sites
For much of the 14th and 15th centuries, Clifford’s Tower was used as treasury, exchequer, mint, gaol and seat of royal power. During the Civil War (1642-9), Clifford’s Tower was held by the royalists while the city was under siege.
In 1684 the tower was reduced to a shell after a fire. Eventually, most of the castle buildings were swept away when a new prison and court were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, leaving Clifford’s Tower as the principal surviving remnant of the York Castle.