York Castle is a fortified complex in the city of York, England. It consists of a sequence of castles, prisons, law courts and other buildings, which were built over the last nine centuries on the south side of the River Foss. The now-ruined keep of the medieval Norman castle is commonly referred to as Clifford's Tower. Built originally on the orders of William I to dominate the former Viking city of Jórvík, the castle suffered a tumultuous early history before developing into a major fortification with extensive water defences. After a major explosion in 1684 rendered the remaining military defences uninhabitable, York Castle continued to be used as a jail and prison until 1929.
The first motte and bailey castle on the site was built in 1068 following the Norman conquest of York. After the destruction of the castle by rebels and a Viking army in 1069, York Castle was rebuilt and reinforced with extensive water defences, including a moat and an artificial lake. York Castle formed an important royal fortification in the north of England.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
Peter Gibson | Feb 11, 2018
Intersting tower being all that is left of york castle. Quite a dark history at times. Good views across much of york from the upper walls. To be honest it feels that £5 is a bit of a rip off for what you get. It is basically a view that you are paying for.
richeard bradshaw | Feb 18, 2018
an excellent tribute to anglo saxon engineering, still standing after a thousand or so years, even if it has lost its roof! gives a good view of the city (if you dare ascend the scares, i mean stairs) and one can only imagine how far they could see before modern man came along and built things higher than a few floors. on the bad side for some, there is no disabled access ( for obvious reasons ) and for how long one might spend in there, the admission fee is a bit pricey.
Mateusz | Feb 24, 2018
York Castle in the city of York , England, is a fortified complex comprising, over the last nine centuries, a sequence of castles, prisons, law courts and other buildings on the south side of the River Foss. The now-ruinous keep of the medieval Norman castle is commonly referred to as Clifford's Tower. Built originally on the orders of William I to dominate the former Viking city of York, the castle suffered a tumultuous early history before developing into a major fortification with extensive water defences. After a major explosion in 1684 rendered the remaining military defences uninhabitable, York Castle continued to be used as a jail and prison until 1929. The first motte and bailey castle on the site was built in 1068 following the Norman conquest of York. After the destruction of the castle by rebels and a Viking army in 1069, York Castle was rebuilt and reinforced with extensive water defences, including a moatand an artificial lake. York Castle formed an important royal fortification in the north of England. In 1190, 150 local Jews were killed in apogrom in the castle keep; most of them committed suicide in order not to fall into the hands of the mob. Henry III rebuilt the castle in stone in the middle of the 13th century, creating a keep with a unique quatrefoildesign, supported by an outer bailey wall and a substantial gatehouse. During the Scottish wars between 1298 and 1338, York Castle was frequently used as the centre of royal administration across England, as well as an important military base of operations. York Castle fell into disrepair by the 15th and 16th centuries, becoming used increasingly as a jail for both local felons and political prisoners. By the time of Elizabeth I the castle was estimated to have lost all of its military value but was maintained as a centre of royal authority in York. The outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642 saw York Castle being repaired and refortified, playing a part in theRoyalist defence of York in 1644 againstParliamentary forces. York Castle continued to be garrisoned until 1684, when an explosion destroyed the interior of Clifford's Tower. The castle bailey was redeveloped in aneoclassical style in the 18th century as a centre for county administration in Yorkshire, and was used as a jail and debtors' prison.Prison reform in the 19th century led to the creation of a new prison built in a Tudor Gothic style on the castle site in 1825; used first as a county and then as a military prison, this facility was demolished in 1935. By the 20th century the ruin of Clifford's Tower had become a well-known tourist destination and national monument; today the site is owned by English Heritage and open to the public. The other remaining buildings serve as theYork Castle Museum and the Crown Court.
Marco Robinson-Metcalfe | Nov 8, 2017
Though Ive not been inside yet myself, I dont believe you entirely need to go inside this building to enjoy its splendour and dominance over its section of the city. Definitely a landmark to visit whilst you're here, even if its just looking at it from the outside. I find the best view is once you leave the museum.
Justin Clark | Jul 26, 2017
A beautiful example of what it is merits the five stars. The view over York and beyond are stunning and although the entrance fee is steep for less than 15 mins of engagement, the viewpoint is worth it. I just wish English Heritage could add something more engaging to an attraction like this. The technology available to bring this to life is there. A lack of effort and a captive tourist audience means they'll continue to reap a high entrance fee for little improvement. Such a shame. This is where York rose to prominence. The effort should be applied to make this ultimately remarkable for visitors.
Jonathan Malory | Mar 31, 2018
It’s an iconic piece of York architecture, as much a part of its soul as the Bar Walls and York Minster. Its history has been a bit dark at time, and downright horrible at others, but that’s history for you. Some folks think it’s a bit expensive to go inside and that there isn’t much there when you do, but you needed to be more open minded. I mean, how many thousand year ruins still have their walls intact and allow you to walk around the top. Incidentally, going inside and walking around the top is a must if you’re a tourist, and to be done at least once if you’re a local. The views are brilliant, and looking straight down is a bit of a thrill as the walls lean outward a little towards the top! If you don’t want to going inside, you can walk up the steps for free, and around the outside for spectacular photo opportunities day and night.
Steve gunter | Mar 10, 2018
Interesting but very small partial castle. Worth a visit to walk around the walls with good views of York. Probably 30 minutes would easily be enough
Michael Giles | Mar 13, 2018
Remains of an old castle. Entrance inside is a little pricey but worth it. Very interesting & superb views from the top
Malcolm Lawrenson | May 3, 2018
Clifford's tower, once part of York castle sits atop an eleventh century mound in the centre of York offering some of the most spectacular views across the city and surrounding countryside. The entrance is at the top of steep stairs in the open but the climb is well worth the effort for the views alone. There is a large carpark adjacent and the castle museum is just across the square. Definitely recommended.
jan ansell | Apr 26, 2018
First point is this attraction is totally impossible in a wheel chair. Due to the only access point being up a steep flight of stairs. It is however a really interesting part of York's history, full of bloody tales of massacres and treachery. The views inside the tower are great over the city and its walls and if you are a visitor to the city it is a must. There is a car park right next to the tower, but it does fill up quickly and is rather expensive. I would always recommend using the Park and ride which has a stop right next to the tower.
Harriet Johnson | May 1, 2018
Great little castle, with really interesting history. Very pretty and well informed. The only negetive is you have no idea how much the admission fee is until you have climbed all the way to the top of the steps. Under 4's are free and Adults are £6 - maybe a little excesive but the money I am sure goes towards the upkeep etc
Christopher Harper | Apr 23, 2018
It’s a little castle on a hill. Not really much to say about it. It’s easy to find and we’ll sign posted. It’s very close to some nice cafes and has ample parking.
Andrew Lickley | May 17, 2018
If you want some great views of york then this is the place to go. Easy to find near the city centre and very close to the Viking centre and castle museum. Access like most castles is up a large flights of steps with the entrance through a small door. Maintained by English Heritage you will need your membership card or pay the small entrance fee. Once inside theirs plenty to see in what is a small tower the fire places, well and small chapel. The thing you must do is climb the stairs to the wall walkway giving access to superb views over york and the wider vale. As an English heritage member I will visit the tower on most trip to York. In the tower there's a small shop and be aware there are no toilets the nearest been in the coppergate centre
Phillip Hutton | Jun 3, 2018
This is a very nice activity with some very good views from the top of the tower. This is a English Heritage site the entrance is at the top of the very steep steps and it isn't suitable for people with disabilities or in a wheelchair. Within the tower itself there's not huge amounts to look at. There is a very small shop inside the courtyard. Some castles you can walk around for hours this small tower is only around a half an hour activity.
Adam Payne | May 24, 2018
This small tower has some stunning views of York, only problem was it's got a lot of steep steps up to it. Certainly a workout getting up there. The views are certainly worth the workout. A little on the expensive side however. The staff are really polite and chatty.
Kieran O'Malley | May 31, 2018
Good views of the surrounding area. Don't expect to be here too long though as you will probably see everything in around 45 mins. Steep steps to the entrance so not for those unsteady with heights!
Joanna Cooke | Jul 19, 2018
First re-visit since 1974 and despite the addition of a rather up-market gift shop and some swords and similar to play with (in 1974 you just got the bare tower and a leaflet ) the powers that be have had the sense to leave it pretty much alone and I loved going back. Couldn't make it up to the top of the walls this time, but my son was there like a rat up a drainpipe and loved the views. I highly recommend it, but you can't get in at all if you can't climb the steep steps up to the entrance, so beware.
Dan Jackson | Jul 15, 2018
Charming little castle. My son (2) really wanted to go inside. As an English Heritage member, entry was free, so we went in to look around. The castle is very small, so we weren't inside for long, but it was nice seeing a piece of history. You can climb up some stairs to walk along the top of the outer wall, with great views across York, and down again. There's a small room half way up one of the staircases for you to look around in, which is interesting (very small and not much inside, but I like this kind of thing). Just be aware you need to walk up 30-40 steps to get to the castle as it is sited on top of a steep mound.
Gary Standke | Jul 24, 2018
Up the long staircase to enter an ancient tower. It used to be 2 floors inside but the dividing floor and roof are long gone. You do get to climb to the walk around the upper battlements. Panels on the ground floor show you what it once looked like. The whole adventure takes about 20 min but it is very interesting and you get great views of the city. There is a gift shop, but the shop in the castle nest door is far larger.
Margaret Amatt | Jul 15, 2018
Interesting semi-ruined tower in the centre of York. It's quite small but the best feature is the walkway around the top of the tower where you get a fabulous view over the city. It has a nice little courtyard with a small shop and dressing up area for children. The steps leading up to the tower are very steep!!
Vincent Jung | Jul 13, 2018
Brilliant compact place to get some decent views all around York. It's not the highest building but the area around is clear enough to see all around without issue. Be careful going up and down the stairs as they are quite steep! Very cheap to get in so well worth it!
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