The dichotomy of the old and new


I’m pretty sure that this was not
the hill of nursery rhyme
when a certain grande old duke
decided now would be good time
to march ten thousand up and and down
but it’s nice to think ‘maybe’
that this was in fact the very hill
from that time in history

Standing here this morning though
there’s dichotomy at hand
as old and new together meet
in silence hand in hand
Clifford’s Tower atop the hill
from Henry the third’s time
overlooks a car park which
to me seems like a crime

The meeting of the old and new
inevitable these days
but surely with some foresight
could be done in better ways?
Having said that York has managed
to retain much of the past
Evident as I wander here
and hope that it will last


The Grande Olde Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
he marched then up to the top of the hill
then he marched them down again

Built between 1245 and 1262 by order of King Henry III,  York’s ‘Clifford’s Tower’ (aka The Great Tower) was built on the site of an original motte and bailey from William the Conqueror’s time. It was originally surrounded by a moat fed from the river Foss. The moat no longer exists but the grassed motte has long retained its traditional identity as ‘the eye of York’ from the days when the land was owned by the Crown. It  was sold to York City Council in 1988 for the princely sum of £1.


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