Umbrella Art installation welcomes showers at Clifford's Tower, York

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:01 20 February 2013

Umbrella Art installation welcomes showers at Clifford's Tower, York

Umbrella Art installation welcomes showers at Clifford's Tower, York

A new art installation at Clifford's Tower in York is not only providing visitors with some fantastic photo opportunities – it will keep them dry from autumnal showers too, with 45 colourful umbrellas suspended within its historic walls.


A new art installation at Cliffords Tower in York is not only providing visitors with some fantastic photo opportunities it will keep them dry from autumnal showers too, with 45 colourful umbrellas suspended within its historic walls.

The idea came out of the rather damp summer that weve had, when someone joked that it would be wonderful to have a huge umbrella over the open courtyard and then we started thinking about what else could be done with umbrellas, says site manager, Louise Wyatt.

We found some pictures online of streets in Europe that had been covered with suspended umbrellas, and realised that the quatrefoil shape of Cliffords Tower would lend itself to such a display fantastically.

The umbrellas are suspended level with the walk around the ramparts of Cliffords Tower, so that the superb views over the city of York are not interrupted, and in fact, the colourful canopy of umbrellas makes for fascinating viewing from the ramparts, as well as colouring the sky when viewed from the courtyard below.

Although Cliffords Tower doesnt currently have a roof, we know that it had at least two floors and a domed roof supported by a central column in its heyday, explains Louise. Unfortunately, the tower was used as a store for gunpowder and munitions in the 17th century, and on 23 April 1684, an explosion blew off the roof and the floors, leaving just the shell that you see today, so it has been over 400 years since the tower last had any kind of roof covering!

The Umbrella Sky will remain in place until Sunday 21 October, weather permitting.

Cliffords Tower is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, and then 10.00am to 4.00pm every weekend during the winter months. Admission prices are 4.00 for adults, 3.60 for concessions and 2.40 for children, or 10.40 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children). English Heritage members get in free.

For more information, please call 01904 646940 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/cliffords

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