THE visitor trade is booming – and one iconic attraction has certainly got it all wrapped up.
Clifford’s Tower is one of York’s most photographed and visited sites, standing proudly in the city centre and dating back to Norman times.
But yesterday it took on a festive new look with the help of a giant red ribbon, supporting Visit York’s Wrapped Up winter campaign by staying open throughout the year.
The decision to keep the landmark English Heritage site open daily throughout the winter was taken in response to York’s strong winter visitor market.
Last winter it opened at weekends only, along with other English Heritage sites, following a reduction in Government funding.
Liz Page, historic properties director for English Heritage in the north, said: “We recognise we need to play a full part in supporting York as a year-round tourist destination and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming thousands more visitors to enjoy the best views of York seven days a week over the coming months.”
Clifford’s Tower is the principal remaining part of York Castle, for which it served as a keep.
An original wooden tower, built on a slightly smaller mound, was constructed in 1068, but was burned to the ground in an mass-suicide by York’s Jews, when they fled there to escape a murderous mob in 1190.
The stone building that visitors see today was constructed in the 1250s. Its roof was blown off in an explosion during the English Civil War. It is named after Roger de Clifford, a traitor whose body was hung from the ramparts in 1322.