Delving deeper into foundations of tower

Cliffords Tower, York. Picture by Gerard Binks
Cliffords Tower, York. Picture by Gerard Binks
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One of York’s oldest and most popular tourist attractions is to be closed to the public for two weeks while experts investigate its structural stability and delve deeper into its history.

Archaeologists will spend a fortnight delving deeper into the foundations of the mound on which Clifford’s Tower sits, along with the stone structure of the building itself, as owners English Heritage make plans for its long-term future. It comes following an initial assessment carried out last month, which found that while the mound, or motte, were in good shape further work was required to establish how stable they are before plans to improve “inadequate” visitor facilities are drawn up.

Experts believe the the mound may contain material from a Bronze Age burial-mound and a Roman cemetery, but its history as a castle begins with William the Conqueror in 1068. Samples of soil will be taken during the conservation work.

Liz Page, English Heritage’s regional properties director, said: “We want to do the tower and its fascinating story justice.

“Currently there are only three information panels to explain the vast history and significance of Clifford’s Tower which is inadequate.

“But before we start looking to the future, we need to look at the past and these works are part of that process.”

The tower will be closed to the public from January 12 to 23 and a public meeting for those who want to find out more will be held at Quaker’s Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York on Thursday January 8.