#29 Clifford's Tower
York, Yorkshire, England
This is NOT an official Lego site

This donjon, known for centuries as the Great Tower, began in 1068-70 as a timber tower atop the motte, one of two built in Yorkshire by William the Conqueror. The tower was destroyed twice, first in 1190 when most of the York Jewry died when the tower in which they had taken refuge burned down, and then in 1228 during a strong gale. The current stone tower was built by Henry III from 1245 to 1259 as part of a conversion of York Castle from wood to stone, and consisted not only of the quatrefoil tower atop the motte, but a large bailey guarded by five towers and two gates (see one of a number of semi-conjectural drawings below).
Unfortunately the motte has proven unstable over the years, perhaps due to the added weight of the stone tower and occasional flooding (see above right). By 1360 the keep had cracked from top to bottom and the castle was abandoned. Though ruinous by 1515, the castle was repaired in 1644 and housed a royal garrison until they were bombarded into surrender. In 1660 the forebuilding was replaced with the current structure and the castle named Clifford's Tower for Roger de Clifford, a Lancastrian leader who was hanged from the ramparts of the castle in 1322. From 1701 until 1929 the castle served as a prison, with the medieval bailey filled with courts and jails. The motte remains unstable and the castle may be in jeopardy.

Drawing of York Castle Plan of the Great Tower Gatehouse Photograph Clifford's Tower Cross-section


Photos of the Lego Model
Built February 1990
Southeast View
South View


Build Your Own
Lego Plan
Northeast Elevation

Other Clifford's Tower pages:

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Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney