The Eye of York is the site of the medieval castle and prison. It is an important site – a symbolic centre of York and Yorkshire – with a long and continuing history as a centre of power and authority.
The surviving buildings – Clifford’s Tower, the Crown Court and the museum (formerly the Women’s and Debtor’s Prisons) – and the spaces between, give the castle area a distinct and different character compared to the rest of the city.
The site has been a place of power, repression, protest and celebration. Its huge value and importance to York and its people is reflected in the many events which have taken place here.
Explore ideas for the Castle and the Eye of York area
Use the map to explore ideas for developing the Castle and the Eye of York area.
Clickable map of the Castle and Eye of York area
Aerial view of the Castle and Eye of York area
- C1 – The Castle Car Park site
- C2 – The Castle Museum site
- C3 – Rear of Coppergate Shopping Centre site
- Castle and the Eye of York transport and public realm ideas
Through the 'My Castle Gateway' project we discovered what mattered to people about the area is:
- 2,000 years of history, the origins of York and Yorkshire
- power and repression giving way to social justice and the recovery of the space for public use
- the ‘set piece’ of the surviving castle and prison buildings and the spaces between
- the relationship with the Foss and Ouse rivers
In the Castle and the Eye of York area people want to:
- understand the history of the castle
- come together for cultural events, commemorations and protests, at all times of year and in all weathers
- enjoy the River Foss – to sit, walk along the river and to see river activity
- move easily between the Eye of York, Tower Gardens and Saint George’s Field
The challenges in the Castle and the Eye of York area are:
- removing the car parking
- designing public space and buildings to support events and everyday socialising, year round
- managing traffic on Tower Street to make is easier to walk between the Eye of York, Tower Gardens and Saint George’s Field