Clifford's Tower is the Keep of York Castle, built by William the Conqueror in 1068, and is all that remains of the magnificent building today. The Tower boasts some of the most stunning panoramic views of the city. It is unsure why the Tower is named 'Clifford's Tower', but it is believed to be due to the fact that Robert De Clifford was hung for treason there in 1322.
The building stood just over a century old when, in 1190, 150 Jews were brutally murdered on the site, forever staining the name and history of Clifford's Tower with blood, and causing severe physical damage to the Tower.
Over the next few years, until 1194, the Tower was repaired at huge cost, with the mound being raised to its current height, and the building being almost entirely replaced with a new, timber structure. Just 50 years later, this 2nd structure was also sadly destroyed during gale-force winds, but was re-built under the orders of Henry III during his wars with the Scots, this time in stone. The Tower now stood at 50ft in height and 200ft in diameter, and its design was unique to England of the time, thought to have been inspired the Chateau d'Etampes - a building 30 miles south of Paris.
Clifford's Tower played its final military role in 1642, during the Civil War, when it was occupied by a garrison of soldiers, who resided in the tower for 42 years, until the inner areas were mostly destroyed by fire in 1684.
Clifford's Tower is now open to the public every day from 10am-6pm, and entry is £4.20 for adults and £2.50 for children.