Umbrellas art covers historic tower

An art installation inspired by the UK's wet summer will keep visitors to a historic tower under cover for the first time in more than 400 years.

A canopy of 45 colourful umbrellas has been suspended within the walls of Clifford's Tower in York.

It is the first time the medieval tower has had any kind of covering since an explosion blew off the roof in 1684.

The umbrellas are hung level with the walk around the ramparts of Clifford's Tower so that views over the city of York are not interrupted.

Louise Wyatt, site manager at Clifford's Tower, said: "The idea came out of the rather damp summer that we've 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.

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

Ms Wyatt added: "The tower was used as a store for gunpowder and munitions in the 17th century and, on April 23 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 October 21, weather permitting.

For more information, call 01904 646 940 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/cliffords