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CLIFTON HALL TOWER

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CLIFTON HALL FARMHOUSE
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The site of the late 15th/early 16th century Clifton Hall Tower; the only surviving part of a medieval house. The tower measures approximately 10 metres by 8 metres, and is on three floors. It would have been a later addition to the manor house which was demolished by 1819 to make way for the present Hall Farm.

The first floor of the tower had a main room with a large fireplace, window, and garderobe chamber; it was also the access level to the rest of the building. The ground floor was self-contained with a door in the north wall. The original roof does not survive, although much material has been reused in the present roof. The tower replaced the west cross wing and was extended to the south, but this extension was demolished in the late 16th/early 17th century and replaced by the new, larger hall. The house was extended again during the 18th century, but the hall was demolished in the early 19th century. Tree ring analysis has confirmed that there were several phases of rebuilding and repair, particularly dating to the mid-late 16th century and mid 18th century.

Excavations have uncovered the remains of the hall and cross wing built by the Engaine family in the late 14th/early 15th century. The property subsequently passed to the Wybergh family in whose hands it remained until the late 19th century. During the Jacobite risings in 1715 William Wybergh was kidnapped by Scottish soldiers and, on 17 December 1745, the building was occupied and plundered shortly before the Battle of Clifton Moor, the last military engagement fought on English soil. The tower was used as a farm building until 1973 when it passed into guardianship of the State. It is now in the care of English Heritage.

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