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Cliffords Tower

A Grade I Listed Building in Guildhall, York

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Latitude: 53.9558 / 53°57'20"N

Longitude: -1.0801 / 1°4'48"W

OS Eastings: 460463

OS Northings: 451467

OS Grid: SE604514

Mapcode National: GBR NQWP.ZQ

Mapcode Global: WHFC3.CTXT

Plus Code: 9C5WXW49+8X

Entry Name: Cliffords Tower

Listing Date: 14 June 1954

Last Amended: 14 March 1997

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1259325

English Heritage Legacy ID: 462999

Location: Guildhall, York, YO1

County: York

Electoral Ward/Division: Guildhall

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: York

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

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1112-1/21/129 Clifford's Tower
(Formerly Listed as:
Clifford's Tower and portions of the
outer walls of the Castle)


Castle keep. 1245-72; partly dismantled 1596-97; forebuilding
largely rebuilt 1642-43; gutted by explosion in 1684.
Restorations of 1902, 1915 and 1936. For King Henry III.
MATERIALS: rubble stone faced with magnesian limestone ashlar;
roof lost: forebuilding rebuilt in pinkish stone, with hipped
roof of tiles. Quatrefoil on plan with rectangular projecting
EXTERIOR: 2-storey tower, originally embattled, with battered
base, 3 bartizans, and full-height buttressed forebuilding to
south. Forebuilding has hollow-chamfered, elliptical arched
doorway of 2 orders: to right, a length of original hoodmould
survives. Building largely lit by slits or chamfered
rectangular lights: in right return one original lancet
survives. Above doorway, a halved panel is carved in low
relief with Royal Arms of Charles II above the arms of Henry
Clifford, 8th Earl of Cumberland. Two corbelled bartizans, lit
by slits, and similar one opposite forebuilding a garderobe
tower, lit by chamfered rectangular light. On each side of
forebuilding, slits light staircases within tower walls. The
lower stage of each tower lobe has two arrow slits with
enlarged heads. In upper stage, lobes flanking forehouse have
chamfered arched openings, one pointed, one round-headed,
blocked later to form arrow slits. Elsewhere, openings are
chamfered lights with shouldered heads. Remains of embrasures
and arrow slits in merlons survive from original embattled
parapet and walkway. A water spout with a grotesque face
projects on the west.
INTERIOR: forebuilding has spiral staircase in wall to left,
entered through chamfered, shoulder-arched doorway. Inner
doorway to tower is pointed and grooved for portcullis. On
first floor, in former chapel, arcades of 4 pointed moulded
arches remain on 2 adjacent walls; arches are enriched with
dogtooth moulding, nailhead capitals to decayed shafts
survive, some moulded waterhold bases remain: altered doorway
with chamfered lintel in similar wider arch: one original
lancet window survives: aumbry in rebated surround. Walls on
each side of tower arch contain spiral staircases, entered
through chamfered, shoulder-arched doorways. Similar doorways
give access to garderobe tower opposite forebuilding, and on
upper floor of intermediate bartizans to further spiral
staircases to parapet walkway. In all parts, arrow slits and

shouldered lights are set in embrasures beneath round or
pointed arches of voussoirs, some rebuilt in brick. Two lobes
contain hollow-chamfered segment-arched fireplaces with hoods
and flues intact. Stone-lined well beneath iron grille.
Scheduled Ancient Monument.
(English Heritage: Guidebook to Clifford's Tower, York: 1987-;
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York:
RCHME: The Defences: HMSO: 1972-: 73-74).

Listing NGR: SE6046351467

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