Clifford's Tower. The original motte and bailey castle on this site was erected by William the Conqueror. The present tower usually described as "the Great Tower", was built between 1245 and 1262 by order of King Henry III. It was encircled by a moat fed from the River Foss. By 1800, the moat was no longer in existence. The tower was taken within the confines of the new 'York County Prison' begun in 1826 and demolished in 1935. The grassed centre of the castle area known as the "Eye of York" is a legacy from the days when York castle belonged to the Crown. County elections and royal proclamations were issued from the precincts. This piece of land was transferred to York City Council in 1988 for the princely sum of £1.