ARCHAEOLOGISTS are launching a two-week investigation into Clifford's Tower's foundations, and the mound on which it stands.

Fourteen shallow pits will be dug in and around the tower to get a better understanding of the depth and make-up of its foundations and the material that makes up the mound's upper layers.

English Heritage said the tower would remain open to visitors during the survey, and it hoped the work would cause no disruption or inconvenience.

It said the work, which started today, was part of initial investigations into how best to improve the visitor experience at the tower, in keeping with its history and significance.

"However first we need to explore the stability and archaeology of both the tower and the mound," said a spokesman.

Liz Page, historic properties director for the North of England, said: “These archaeological investigations will give us a much better understanding of Clifford’s Tower and the mound on which it stands.

"We want to offer visitors to the Tower an experience that matches its history and its magnificent setting within the city. However first we need to learn more about the building, its structure and its archaeology. "These works are an important part in this process."