York Castle (Clifford's Tower)
ll that remains of York Castle is the shell of the stone keep on top of the motte. This keep is known as Clifford's Tower. The tower is constructed from four semi-circular lobes and would have had a roof supported by a central column. The roof and interior have long since disappeared.
efore Christianity arrived York had an important part to play in the history of Britain. For the Romans, York was the capital city and many important buildings were built on the site of the current minster, including a cathedral. A stone building was built around 627 by Edwin the King of Northumberland and rebuilt again after a fire in 741. In 1069 the church was destroyed and when Thomas of Bayeux the first Norman Archbishop arrived in 1070 he found the church in ruins. Thomas built a new cathedral which lasted until the middle of the twelfth century at which point Archbishop Roger reconstructed sections in the new Transitional style. In 1230 the Normans started rebuilding the cathedral in the Early English style beginning with the transepts which can still be seen today. The south transept is the work of archbishop Walter de Gray who held the position at York from 1215 until 1255. He is buried in the eastern aisle of this transept. The north transept is the work of John Romanus who was the Treasurer at York and the work on the north transept was completed just after the south. Unusually the transepts have their own aisles. The south transept has a door with three very steep gables above it, lots of lancet windows and a circular window in the roof gable. The north transept is much simpler, consisting of five very tall lancet windows known as the 'Five Sisters', which could be the tallest medieval lancet windows in England. The chapter-house at York is unusual in the fact that it has no central column. The roof of the chapter-house being made of wood that has been designed to look like stone. Apart from the two towers, the West front was complete by around 1345. The front has a huge window containing a heart shaped from the Flowering tracery. Fire damaged sections the cathedral in the last century.