After massive public outcry over the plan of a visitor’s center, English Heritage has finally cancelled its proposal for the 13th century Clifford’s Tower in York.
The initial plan was to build a visitor’s center next to the Clifford’s Tower but English Heritage’s latest announcement sees the organization scrap the entire plan. The Charity organization announced on June 7 that they have resorted to not go ahead with their initial proposal as the project has been rendered into a hugely controversial state of affairs. The plan being scrapped is a good news for the York campaigners who vigorously opposed the plans. They pushed their case until it went all the way to a Judicial Review. The announcement came ahead of the High Court appeal, which, the campaigners believed, would reject the visitor’s centre plan. [Yorkmix.com]
In its announcement, English Heritage said, “the new plans to regenerate York’s Castle Gateway area combined with the deep attachment many people have for the mound at Clifford’s Tower means that English Heritage has decided not to proceed with the proposed visitor building at the base of the mound.”
The news comes following a long chain of events with residents and archeologists raising alarm about the ill effects of the plan. There was countless opposition stating that this could set a “disastrous precedent” of the overpowering status of developers who dare to build on heritage sites and take a decisive call on the lands and geography of these sites. [The Guardian]
Minister FM quotes Andrea Selley, the new director of English Heritage for the north of England as aying, “the visitor building would not have touched any of the medieval remains, but like the wallpaper in our homes that small mound is a deeply familiar backdrop and the thought of changing it, even slightly and even with the very best intentions, was too much for many.”
English Heritage was gearing up to open a gift centre adjacent to the base of the famous mound — the very mound that William the Conqueror raised himself in 1068. The stone tower was renovated in 1250 with stones replacing the original wooden structure. The site of the mound was a site of a major attack on the city’s Jewish community in 1190 and centuries later, in 1680s the stone tower was attacked again, fired upon, being reduced to a mere shell. The tower also is the only remaining structure of the city’s castle. Most of the structures were all destroyed in the 18th and 19th century, at the time when the city’s court and prison were built. The tower remained surrounded by the Victorian prison till the 1920s.[BBC]
Founder Louise Blouin