Future Plans 2016-2019

Castle Restoration

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 a major renovation with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and other key partners listed below.  This will restore the castle to 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.

Auckland Castle closed to daily visits from 30 September 2016; however you can follow the restoration 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 restoration.

Work has also begun to clear the Scotland Wing, with a team from Durham University working alongside volunteers to excavate the site’s garden and document any historical finds before construction of the Faith Museum begins.

The restoration 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 of the renovations, ahead of Auckland Castle’s re-opening in May 2018.

Want to know more? Sign up for our monthly newsletter