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Historic England Research Records

York Castle

Hob Uid: 58151
Location :
York
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SE6046351477
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).
More information : [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 :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:1250 1962
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 13-JUN-63
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 528-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83
Source Number : 12
Source : English Heritage book of castles
Source details :
Page(s) : 128
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : Yorkshire : York and the East Riding
Source details :
Page(s) : 190-191
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 889-894
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : City of York, JUN-1983
Page(s) : 43-44
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 64
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 5
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in the City of York. Volume II: the defences
Source details :
Page(s) : 59-78
Figs. : PP 62-3
Plates : 1-16, 62
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 31-Mar-92
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : York Castle : an illustrated history
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : York Castle
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9
Source : English Heritage book of York
Source details :
Page(s) : 15, 21, 40, 43, 48, 58-9, 73, 91
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : City of York, 14-MAR-1997
Page(s) : 132-3, 137
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built in 1068
Monument End Date : 1068
Monument Start Date : 1068
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Circa 1089
Monument End Date : 1099
Monument Start Date : 1079
Monument Type : Moat
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C12/early C13
Monument End Date : 1232
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Castle, Interval Tower, Gatehouse, House, Stable, Gaol, Chapel, Bridge
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Destroyed/rebuilt in 1190
Monument End Date : 1190
Monument Start Date : 1190
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1245-62
Monument End Date : 1262
Monument Start Date : 1245
Monument Type : Keep, Curtain Wall
Evidence : Ruined Building, Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Recorded in C14/C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Mint
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Moved in 1546
Monument End Date : 1546
Monument Start Date : 1546
Monument Type : Mint
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Slighted in Civil War
Monument End Date : 1649
Monument Start Date : 1642
Monument Type : Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Gutted in 1684
Monument End Date : 1684
Monument Start Date : 1684
Monument Type : Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 366
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 61945
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : YK 203
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13275
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 463003
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : YK 20
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 20
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 65 SW 7
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 536713
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 536711
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 536712
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1379266
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 536704
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE CAR PARK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 65 SW 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-06-13
End Date : 1963-06-13
Associated Activities : Primary, EYE OF YORK, CASTLE MUSEUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER STREET,YORK CROWN COURT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE MUSEUM YARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EYE OF YORK, CASTLE MUSEUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER STREET,CROWN COURT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK CASTLE CAR PARK
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GAS PIPE, YORK CASTLE MUSEUM, YORK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK CASTLE CAR PARK (PHASE 2)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK CASTLE CAR PARK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK CROWN COURT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK CASTLE CAR PARK
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK CASTLE CAR PARK, OFF TOWER STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE MUSEUM CAR PARK
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: VALE OF YORK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1998-01-06
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CITY OF YORK STREETSCAPE
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31