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The ancient and imposing York Minster
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Redcoat parades for Prince Phillip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II (7/24/2000)
24 July 2000: "Ran into the Duke of Edinburgh again yesterday.  That's the Queen's husband.   We attended services in the towering York Minster, England's oldest Gothic Cathedral and when we came out, there were regular and military police, smart in their red jackets, some with machine guns slung over their shoulders, milling around the entrance and street corners.  I asked one of them what was going on and he said the Prince was about to salute the veterans of the Burma campaign."

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Veteran salutes the Prince, seen standing at the top of the steps between two uniformed officers (7/24/2000)
"Four hundred British war vets poured from six buses.  They gathered at the far end of town to prepare for the parade as we waited with the growing crowd behind metal rails directly in front of the Minster entrance.  Two soldiers stood at either end of the large landing holding staffs with flags atop them, pictures of two keys crossing one another, which I took to be the Duke's symbol."

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Crowd waits to see Prince Phillip (7/24/2000)
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Clifford's Tower (7/24/200)

"The Tower dates back to the 13th century, when it was re-built in stone by Henry III, as part of the York Castle defences. Apparently, it was first built in wood but was burned down during one of many uprisings by the local population.

It is believed to be named after Roger Clifford, a Lancastrian, who was hung there, in chains, after the Battle of Bourobridge in 1332.

However, this statement cannot be confirmed, so, take it with a pinch of salt, as there's conflicting stories, for example, The name Clifford's Tower was first recorded in 1596; before then it was called the great tower. So whether this is a tall story, I don't know.

Clifford's Tower stands on a high mound, overlooking part of York, surrounded by what used to be the Debtors Prison which was built in 1701. The Assize Courts in 1773-7 and the Female Prison in 1780 followed this. These buildings still survive to this day although it's now the York Castle Museum and the courts are still in use.

Clifford's Tower was the scene of one of the most terrible events in York's history. In 1190, the Jews of York sought refuge there, after being attacked by local mobs. They were given the choice of being baptised or killed. They chose a third option -- they all committed suicide."
-- reprinted from York Access Gateway


I've been contacted by a representative of the Castle Area Campaign Group who informs me of their effort to defeat city plans to build a shopping mall on the site of old York Castle, next to Clifford's Tower.  Please visit the link above and do what you can to support the organization!