Clifford’s Tower – 11th Century

Location: York, UK

Standing in the centre of York and dominating the York skyline since the Norman Conquest, Clifford’s tower was originally built in the 11th century on the orders of William I to preside over the former Viking City of Jorvik. Now in April 2020, the tower has undergone a complete internal overhaul, including assistive listening systems by Ampetronic and Setworks Ltd.

Included in the vital conservation works and improvements, Ampetronic were asked by English Heritage (conservators of the tower) to provide assistive listening to five bespoke chairs, spread across the four corners of the keep. Manufactured from concrete with speakers embedded in the seat back, the chairs presented a unique challenge to integrate hearing loops. Each chair would allow for the guest to listen to a unique audio drama which described the life of the tower over the ages.

It was quickly established that, due to the unique nature of the chair, the most effective method was embedding a small, multi-turn perimeter loop laid inside the concrete at head height in line with the speaker. Each loop followed a bespoke design, coordinated between Ampetronic and Setworks to maximise the systems effectiveness.

To power this, several CLD1 Induction Loop amplifiers were deployed (one per chair) to ensure that great signal coverage was delivered to the hearing aid at a variety of listening heights.

Once the loops and amplifiers had been integrated, a site visit was conducted to commission the chairs to the internationally recognised IEC60118-4 Standard.

Clifford’s Tower is one of many examples where a unique exhibit has been adapted to include assistive listening, allowing visitors of all backgrounds equity to enjoy some of Britain’s most iconic historical landmarks.

For more information on our speech transfer and help point solutions please visit

*Images provided on behalf of English Heritage