Clifford’s Tower: PEFC-certified timber gives new life to an ancient monument
10 July 2023 Construction
York’s historic Clifford’s Tower has been radically transformed with a modern timber staircase and engineered timber viewing area, breathing new life into this ancient monument.
Clifford’s Tower is the largest surviving structure from the medieval royal castle of York, built in the mid-13th century. But it has stood as a roofless ruin since 1684.
Following a £5 million project to conserve and improve the interior of the 800-year-old landmark, it now incorporates a free-standing timber structure that protects the ruin, carries a timber viewing deck, and sees new walkways and stairs give the public access to features unseen for over 350 years.
A large opening in the middle of the deck allows visitors to look down to the floor of the keep. Timber boards were used to create seating areas and the guard structure around the central opening.
France is the number one producer of Douglas fir in Europe. Harvests have grown steadily since 1990 and will account for over one third of softwood production by 2040, equating to around 2.5 million m3 of sawn timber. All Piveteaubois Douglas Fir comes from PEFC-certified, sustainably managed forests.
Clifford’s Tower re-opened in 2022 and has won several design and construction awards including Best Retail & Leisure Project and Winner of Winners Award at the Structural Timber Awards 2022. It has also been shortlisted for a 2022 Wood Award in the Buildings – Commercial & Leisure category.