|At the end of Castlegate there is a huge mound, on top of which is Clifford's Tower, the only remaining part of York Castle.|
The mound dates from the 11th century when William the Conqueror built a castle in York shortly after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. However, the castle was wooden and it was soon burnt down by rebellious locals.
A replacement was built, but it too was wooden and was subsequently burnt down during some anti-Semitic riots in 1190. In one of York's more horrific past episodes, 150 Jews committed suicide in this second castle by setting fire to it - there is now a plaque commemorating them.
The stone Tower that you see today dates from around 1270 and was built by Henry de Reyns who also built Westminster Abbey in London. As you will notice there is no roof to the tower for it was destroyed by fire in 1684, some say deliberately.
Today the Tower is a picturesque ruin that is worth visiting for the excellent views you can get from the rampart. There is also a series of panels dotted around the grounds, which tell of the history of the Tower.
To the east of the Tower, you will find the excellent Castle Museum, which tells of everyday life in York through the ages.
Opening hours to Clifford's Tower vary according to season, so check in advance. Entry is around £1.50 for adults.
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