Clifford’s Tower stands on a conical mound, about 15 metres high and 67–71 metres in diameter. The lower parts of the slope were re-formed in 1935–6, burying a stone wall that had retained the base of the mound since the mid-19th century. Much of the landscaping immediately around the monument dates to these years.
To the south-east lies the Eye of York, a grassed area surrounded by three handsome Classical buildings: the Debtors’ Prison of 1701–5 (south range), Assize Courts of 1773–7 (west range) and matching Female Prison of 1780–83 (east range). In the Middle Ages, the castle bailey was located here, with Clifford’s Tower as an outwork, surrounded by its own ditch. The Debtors’ Prison and Female Prison now form part of York Castle Museum.