Monument record MYO5067 - York Castle

Summary

York Castle originated as a Norman motte and bailey, built in 1068 when William the Conqueror came north to consolidate his power over the country. It was of earth and timber construction and the original motte underlies the thirteenth century mound of Clifford's Tower. The main bailey lay to the south east and extended down to the line of the River Foss. The remains of such buildings as stables, barracks and workshops will survive throughout. In circa 1089 the Foss was dammed to create a moat around the keep and bailey. Although infilled, the line of the moat survives beneath the surfaces of the carpark, footpaths and access roads around the castle. The castle was burnt down in 1190 in an anti-Jewish riot and was rebuilt the same year, still in timber. Documentary sources indicate that the 12th and early 13th century castle included a tower, palisades, gatehouses, bridges, houses, stables, prisons and a chapel. Stone defences were added around the bailey by Henry III between 1245 and 1262 when the keep was also rebuilt in stone (SE 65 SW 395). Along with towers and a length of curtain wall to the south east, the keep is all that remains standing of the medieval castle, though buried features, including those of stone buildings constructed by Henry III, including halls, a kitchen and a prison, may survive in the open areas of the bailey. Documentary evidence indicates that a mint was in operation in the castle during the 14th and 15th centuries, and was moved elsewhere in 1546. The castle was slighted during the Civil War and gutted by fire in 1684. It became part of York prison after 1825. Most of the prison buildings were demolished in 1935, but the former debtors' prison (SE 65 SW 393) and female prison (SE 65 SW 337) remain, along with the eighteenth century Assize Court (SE 65 SW 280).

Location

Grid reference Centred SE 6049 5146 (216m by 264m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire

Map

Type and Period (11)

Full Description

[SE 6047 5148] Clifford's Tower [G.T.]
[SE 6054 5143] York Castle [G.T.]
[SE 6058 5138] Castle Wall [G.T.] (1)

York Castle consisted originally of a motte and bailey. In the 13th c., Clifford's Tower was rebuilt in wood and stone, replacing the former wooden structure, and the bailey defined by a curtain wall and towers, some of which remain at the back of the existing 18th c. buildings. The tower was refortified during the Civil War, and repaired in 1903 with the remains of the Castle. Scheduled. (2)

Published survey (OS 1/1250,1962) of earthworks correct. Remains of the Castle include the landscaped motte, surmounted by a stone keep, Clifford's Tower, and a section of the curtain wall extending from SE 6054 5135 to SE 6059 5141, embracing the south angle, and one interval tower. All are in good condition, and are on view to the public.
See G.P. AO/63/114/2 for illustration of Clifford's Tower. (3)

Additional references (4-10)

Listed by Cathcart King (11).

Additional reference (12).

SE 60475158. York Castle originated as a Norman motte and bailey, built in 1068 when William the Conqueror came north to consolidate his power over the country. It was of earth and timber construction and the original motte underlies the thirteenth century mound of Clifford's Tower. The main bailey lay to the south east and extended down to the line of the River Foss. The remains of such buildings as stables, barracks and workshops will survive throughout. In circa 1089 the Foss was dammed to create a moat around the keep and bailey. Although infilled, the line of the moat survives beneath the surfaces of the carpark, footpaths and access roads around the castle. The castle was burnt down in 1190 in an anti-Jewish riot and was rebuilt the same year, still in timber. Documentary sources indicate that the 12th and early 13th century castle included a tower, palisades, gatehouses, bridges, houses, stables, prisons and a chapel. Stone defences were added around the bailey by Henry III between 1245 and 1262 when the keep was also rebuilt in stone (SE 65 SW 395). Along with towers and a length of curtain wall to the south east, the keep is all that remains standing of the medieval castle, though buried features, including those of stone buildings constructed by Henry III, including halls, a kitchen and a prison, may survive in the open areas of the bailey. Documentary evidence indicates that a mint was in operation in the castle during the 14th and 15th centuries, and was moved elsewhere in 1546. The castle was slighted during the Civil War and gutted by fire in 1684. It became part of York prison after 1825. Most of the prison buildings were demolished in 1935, but the former debtors' prison (SE 65 SW 393) and female prison (SE 65 SW 337) remain, along with the eighteenth century Assize Court (SE 65 SW 280). Listed and scheduled. (6-14)

Sources:

1 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Default value used to record large numbers of archive items which are not separately catalogued. See Monument Recording Guidelines for details of use. OS 1:1250 1962
2 Field Investigators Comments F1 RWE 13-JUN-63
3 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Default value used to record large numbers of archive items which are not separately catalogued. See Monument Recording Guidelines for details of use. 43-44 City of York, JUN-1983
4 List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands 1978 by Department of the Environment, Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings London 64 1
5 An inventory of the historical monuments in the City of York. Volume II: the defences
2 copies. 1972 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, England 59-78
6 Scheduled Monument Notification
Default value used to record large numbers of archive items which are not separately catalogued. See Monument Recording Guidelines for details of use. 31-Mar-92
7 York Castle : an illustrated history
Offprint from RCHME Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, volume II: the defences (1972) 1973 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England)
8 York Castle
Offprint from RCHME Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, volume II: the defences (1972). 3 copies. 1981 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England)
9 English Heritage book of York 1996 by Richard Hall 15, 21, 40, 43, 48, 58-9, 73, 91
10 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Default value used to record large numbers of archive items which are not separately catalogued. See Monument Recording Guidelines for details of use. 132-3, 137 City of York, 14-MAR-1997
11 Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands 1983 David J Cathcart King 528-9 Feb-83
12 English Heritage book of castles 1992 by Tom McNeill 128
13 Yorkshire : York and the East Riding 1995 by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Neave 190-191
14 The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages 1963 R Allen Brown, H M Colvin and A J Taylor 889-894

NMR related objects:
1225834 [BUILDINGS FORTIFIED: OUT-COUNTY] Surveys of fortified buildings at Portsmouth, Yotk, Carlisle, Berwick, Chester and Holy Island.

AF1189556 RCHME: Vale of York NMP, SE 65 SW Contents : 2 AP Transcriptions

BF061945 York Castle, Castle Precinct, York Includes guidebook photography of the castle and related buildings. Report BF061945/1 was written for The Law Courts of England Project - EHC01/048 and photo job 95/02032 was referred to by the Architectural Investigators during the project.

FL01196 York Castle, General Views A file containing 3 groupings of photographic material not included in Album AL0995. These include 40 photographic prints and 3 postcards.On receipt the archive had been divided into three groups and this arrangement was continued with the material arranged into 3 sub-files FL01196/01 - FL01195/03. The first sub-file (FL01196/01) contains a set of 14 mounted photographic prints showing the south and east bastions and curtain wall before and after repair and the interior of Cliffords Tower Chapel. The second (FL01196/02) contains a set of 13 photographic prints showing the curtain wall and drawbridge pit and also the prison gateway, walls and Castle Mills Wharf on the river Foss. The final group (FL01196/03) contains a set of 13 photographic prints and 3 postcards. The views are of the Assize Court, Debtors Prison and Womens Prison of York Castle. All the images date to the first half of the 20th century, and include structures which have subsequently been demolished.

IC121 Clifford's Tower and York Castle, City of York Ten reconstruction illustrations and one general illustration depiciting York Castle and its keep, known as Clifford's Tower, throughout its history. The illustrations were created between 1985 and 1997 by illustrators Terry Ball, Peter Dunn and Chris Evans, and appear to have been commissioned for inclusion in various editions of the English Heritage guidebooks for Clifford's Tower.There are also seven black and white preliminary sketches and some additonal backup material, created by Peter Dunn. These have not been catalogued at item level.

RCH01/006 Red Box Collection (RCHME) Photographs and other material on open access in the red boxes in the NMR Search Room, Swindon. This record is also used by Heritage Data to link Monument records to their source.

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Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (5)

Related Events/Activities (10)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2021 2:53PM

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