Artist's impression reveals plans to transform Clifford's Tower in York under new English Heritage application for roof deck
One of York's most famous monuments and few surviving medieval buildings is to get extensive internal redevelopment, if permission is granted.
Plans were submitted for internal walkways and a roof deck at Clifford's Tower on Tuesday, which English Heritage says will completely transform the attraction whilst also strengthening its structure and allowing for more visitors.
The major development comes 18 months after controversial plans for a visitor centre built into the base of the mound were thrown out by the High Court, following huge outcry.
The tower is the only surviving part of York's original castle build by William the Conqueror, and is currently hollow inside with tourists only able to walk around the circumference via a narrow walkway.
Artist's impressions show sleek walkways across the inside of the tower and decking to create a roof across the top.
The stairway up the front of the mound will also be redesigned to include resting points and a new handrail, with a three-wheeled vehicle at the base to allow staff to welcome visitors.
Since the previous plans for a visitor centre were abandoned in June 2018, English Heritage has been consulting the public and re-drawn up plans to improve people's access to Clifford's Tower in a way that, it claims, will better preserve the ancient structure.
According to English Heritage, the new roof deck will not only allow more people to access the 'unrivalled' views across York from atop the tower, but will also protect the internal stonework from rainwater.
Andrea Selley, English Heritage's Territory Director in the North, said: “Clifford’s Tower is one of the most important historic sites in York, and English Heritage is committed to investing in the site in a way that protects its historic fabric and improves the experience of those visiting.
“These new proposals follow more than 18 months of consultation with key stakeholders and the people of York, and I am proud of the way they balance protecting the tower, providing much-needed improvements, and respecting the visual appearance of the tower.”
“We believe this is a good solution for the future of Clifford’s Tower, but we want to make sure that everyone agrees.
"I encourage anyone with an interest in the future of Clifford’s Tower to view the plans on the City of York Council website. It is important for everyone that we get this right”
The plans have been delivered to York City Council's Castle Gateway Project and York Museums Trust, after what a spokesman for English Heritage said had been "thoroughly positive feedback".
The three organisations are to work together to see the redevelopment implemented.
Paul Whiting, from Make it York, said: "We welcome the significant investment into Clifford’s Tower to help continue to conserve this iconic piece of York’s built heritage and indeed to improve the overall visitor experience so that many more people can discover the stories held within for years to come."
The application is currently available to view and comment on through the City of York's website here.