Future Plans 2016-2020


Castle Conservation

Durham’s Prince Bishops knew how to impress. Of the North East’s many historic buildings, Auckland Castle stands alone as the only palace of outstanding historic and architectural value.

What you see today is the result of a grand scheme by two great 18th-century Prince Bishops, Richard Trevor and his successor Shute Barrington.

Auckland Castle is currently undergoing major conservation work with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and other key partners listed below.  The castle will return its original Georgian Gothic opulence as designed by renowned English architect James Wyatt on behalf of these two bishops.

Significant research has identified the original wall colourings, furniture and textiles that decorated the palace rooms at this time. Within these grand interiors we will bring to life stories of the Prince Bishops and their power, wealth, influence and faith.

The Castle will be brought back to life by Gateshead based Meldrum Construction Services Ltd. Meldrum specialises in Grade I and Grade II listed buildings, with previous contracts including The Bruce Building, and St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle and the Sunderland Empire Theatre.

Auckland Castle closed to daily visits from 30 September 2016; however you can follow the conservation process through a programme of Behind the Scenes tours launching this year. These will provide first-hand opportunities to watch the renovation progress and talk directly to specialists involved in the conservation.

The conservation of Auckland Castle is  supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sir James Knott Trust, The Charles Hayward Foundation, The Headley Trust, The Linbury Trust, The Rothschild Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust and the Overstone Fund.

This page will be updated regularly with news, images and films, ahead of Auckland Castle’s re-opening in summer 2018.

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