Jewish opposition to shops at Clifford's Tower Clifford's Tower logo

News of the Castle Area Campaign

What can I do to stop Shoppergate?

Contact Castle Area Campaign

The massacre of Jews in 1190

Alternative ideas for Coppergate

Photos of Clifford's Tower

Missing City of York Council report

Who in York is guilty?

Links to supporters

Petition against Coppergate II

Yorkshire celebrities' comments

Demonstration against Shoppergate


Many Jewish people and organisations have spoken out against the building of a shopping mall on the land next to Clifford's Tower.

The Tower stands on the site of a horrific massacre of York's Jewish population in 1190. A large group had taken refuge from a violent mob in the then wooden tower. Rather than perish at the hands of the mob that awaited them outside, many of the Jews took their own lives, others died in the flames, and those who finally surrendered were murdered.

Today, Clifford's Tower stands as a potent reminder of religious and racial intolerance - an educative force in an unstable world.

To build a shopping mall on the site of the massacre seems an ugly and insensitive act. Can we accept this proposal? No. We should accept it no more than we would accept the building of a shopping mall on the grounds of the concentration camps of Eastern Europe.

Plaque at Clifford's Tower
"On the night of Friday 16 March 1190 some 150 Jews and Jewesses of York having sought protection in the Royal Castle on this site from a mob incited by Richard Malebisse and others chose to die at each other's hands rather than renounce their faith."

Jewish protest at Clifford's Tower
Memorial service at Clifford's Tower in March 2002 to mark the anniversary of the massacre here in York in March 1190.


The Board of Deputies of British Jews has taken a stand against the proposal to build on this site. Read the statement by the Board of Deputies.

The following statement from the official body of The Union of Jewish Students shows the dissatisfaction at the proposal to build a Shopping Centre close to the vicinity of Clifford's Tower:-

"The 12th century massacre of the Jewish population of York, which took place at Clifford's Tower, is of huge significance to Jewish Students and the wider Jewish community. The Tower itself represents the occurrence and through education keeps alive the lessons to be learnt through this tragic incident.
In the past the Union of Jewish Students have used this venue for educational events and successful anti-racism demonstrations. It is from our involvement that our deep concerns arise as to a Shopping Centre ruining the true meaning of Clifford's Tower. A Shopping Centre would bring with it an atmosphere not conducive to the educational power of Clifford's Tower. Without continued education, the tragedy of the incident will be unable to be relayed for generations to come. Don't ruin this historical educational site."

Many Jewish people around the world wrote to the UK Planning Inspectorate to ask the Inspector to stop this development. You too can help us in several ways.