Clifford's Tower is on the top of a high hill, difficult to climb. Originally it had a moat, but nothing seems to remain of it now. There are many many many stairs to the base of the tower, and several more to the top. It's not a tower like I think of them, which is tall and thin and goes up a lot higher. This is only really two stories, but with the hill underneath it, there are some spectacular views of the city.
Or, so I would believe. I'm scared witless of heights. Absolutely witless of them. (You should see me flying. Or maybe you shouldn't....) I did manage to get myself up to the top of the tower, and I will admit that it's lovely up there, but I couldn't get myself to really enjoy it. I may think I'm not going to fall - it may be impossible that I'll fall - but I believe that I'm going to go crashing to the earth and that'll be the end of it all.
I was advised against climbing to the top of York Minster after this. *smile*
Clifford's Tower has some incredibly nasty stories told of it. The first is why it's named Clifford's Tower. According to the Ghost Tour I went on, a Lord Clifford was hanged to the side of the building and left to rot.
Let's leave the image, shall we?
The other story is quite horrific: In the 11th century, there was an uprising against the Jews in York. They fled to Clifford's Tower (then called York Castle, and a tower made of wood) for protection. The leaders of the uprising demanded that the Jews renounce their faith and give up all their wordly possessions, or they'd die.
They chose to die. When the door was forced open, they found every man, woman, and child of the Jewish community dead, and everything they had brought with them burning in the center of the room. In impotent rage, they left the tower to burn, leaving the bodies to burn as well.
I took this next picture when I had safely returned to the base of the tower. I looked up and said, "Hey, it's not that high..." The people who had seen me at the top, shaking and trying not to look down, found that rather amusing.
I'm glad I went here, as it's not only pretty nifty, it's part of the English Heritage sites, so I got in for free with my membership. However, I'm not quite sure I'd recommend it to other people. It's interesting, but there's not a lot to it. It's not really big, and very little of it really survives. The view is nice, and I guess that's what you're really paying for. (It's not that expensive, if I recall correctly.)
There's quite a bit here about the Jewish Massacre. For centuries, Jews wouldn't live in the city at all, until Cromwell invited them to come back. I know there's been formal apologies and formal acceptances of those apologies. There is an official memorial stone at the base of the hill, as well.
I just can't get that image out of my head, about how hopeless (or brave, or faithful) one must be to decide to kill your child, your wife, yourself, in order to escape from a fate you think is worse than death.
This photo is me, standing at the top of the tower (obviously). My friend says to me, "My, your shoulders look strange in that photo." I said, "It's because I'm so scared I'm about to fall suddenly to my death."
I haven't had much to say over the past week or so because I've been pretty busy. I got another job through the agency, and it's fun and interesting. I've been baking for the bake sale, and doing other things. But mostly I've been sorting things out with a couple of friends that are coming here to live for a while, and it's been stressful and tense. I'm looking forward to them coming, but if I were anymore nervous about it, well... my shoulders would look funny.
I'm beginning to feel better now because I *think* everything's been sorted. Hard to say, yet, and there's still time. They'll be here in early March.