THOSE people - and there were many of them - who were opposed to English Heritage's plans to build a visitor centre into the mound on which Clifford's Tower stands will no doubt be celebrating today.

As The Press revealed exclusively this morning, the heritage organisation has abandoned its plans in the teeth of public hostility.

Andrea Selley, English Heritage's new director for the north of England, said wider proposals for the Castle Gateway area also offered a chance to rethink the visitor centre plans. "English Heritage will now rework its proposals," she said.

It is likely that nobody would much object to a new visitor centre somewhere else in the castle area - perhaps in the new building which will be attached to the back of Fenwicks, or possibly even in the planned extension to the Castle Museum. It was the idea of putting the centre in the castle mound itself that so many people didn't like.

It is worth remembering, however, that the familiar shape of the mound today is comparatively recent.

Until not that long ago - well, OK, until 1935 - the whole of Clifford's Tower and much of the area around were surrounded by the high, forbidding walls of York Prison.

Even once they had been demolished, the base of the castle mound was ringed by a stone wall or parapet. It is only more recently that that wall has been covered to create the shape of the mound we know today.

We have gathered together a series of photographs - some from our own collection, others from Explore York Libraries and Archives - which show the changing face of Clifford's Tower and the castle mound down the years.

Perhaps the most striking image shows Clifford's Tower as seen from what is now Tower Gardens in 1920 and half hidden behind the prison walls. Others show the castle mound covered in trees and shrubbery .It is only in the most recent photograph - depicting a police parade in 1982 - that the mound has taken on the shape we know today, thanks to the retaining wall being covered.

Clearly, Andrea Selley was quite right when she pointed out that the part of the base of the mound into which English heritage's visitor centre would have been built was quite new.

Quite new, but very much a part of the landscape of York today. As it will remain, thanks to English Heritage's change of heart...