Great Castles Logo and Dunstanburgh Castle
Clifford's Tower, North Yorkshire

Bleeding Walls of Clifford's Tower

Nestled in the center of York on a high motte resides Clifford's Tower, the last remnants of York Castle, which was built in 1068.

In 1190, the wooden tower was destroyed by fire. On March 16th 1190, 150 Jews sought refuge in the tower for protection from an angry mob. When rioters surrounded the keep, the Jews became trapped and unable to defend themselves. Rather than face the mob, many committed suicide in the tower. Other Jews perished in the tower after it caught fire. The remaining Jews who surrendered were murdered.

Clifford's Tower still occasionally reminds us of this horrific event. Reportedly, the stone walls of Clifford's Tower secrete the blood of those Jews who lost their lives centuries ago. In more modern times, the bleeding walls have been attributed to the presence of iron-oxide in the stone.

Although, it should be noted that no stones from that quarry contain that mineral ...