Auckland Castle is one of the UK’s most important historical buildings. Since the days of the Norman Conquest in the 11th Century, Auckland Castle has been a seat of power. For almost 900 years, it has been the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham and although the site where Auckland Castle now stands has seen numerous changes, few will have been as far reaching and visionary as those which are set to take place in the 21st Century.

This summer we present two new temporary exhibitions, the acclaimed Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet in the Throne Room and Pitmen & Prelate featuring work by local artists Tom McGuinness and Norman Cornish; more information on these exhibition can be found in the What’s on section. We will also shortly announce a full programme of events and activities for the summer holidays, so watch this space for more news. 

From 30 September 2016 we will begin an 18 month restoration and redevelopment of the Castle. To enable this substantial work to take place the Castle will not be open daily to visitors from this time, however, we will have a programme of outdoor activities and events as well as guided tours of the building work.  This exciting new phase in Auckland Castle’s history will allow the Castle to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. The Bishop’s Palace will be painstakingly restored and renovated. The State Rooms, created in the Georgian Gothic style for Bishop Barrington in the 1790s, will be returned to their original opulent appearance with rich furnishings and a new extension containing the Faith Galleries will be built. 

To follow the progress guided Behind the Scenes tours will take place weekly from October until we re-open. These informative tours will give an insight into the building developments and an opportunity to talk to some of the specialist involved. News and images documenting the Castle restoration and the build projects including the Walled Garden Restaurant, Spanish Gallery & Institute and Welcome Building will be updated on the website as the project develops. We do hope you join us in following these momentous plans. 

Castle and Library Tea Room open Monday to Sunday 10am-5pm. Last admission 4pm. Closed Tuesday.

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