Auckland Castle in County Durham to open to the public on 2 November 2019!

Photo by House of Hues

Auckland Castle in County Durham is set to open its doors to the public on 2 November 2019, following an extensive three-year conservation project, supported by a £12.4m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Auckland Castle is the former private palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham, who commanded exceptional power and wealth, governing the North East as the King’s second-in-command for more than 750 years.


Photo by House of Hues


The Castle’s State Rooms have been returned to their original Georgian Gothic splendour, while the Bishops’ private apartments are being opened to visitors for the first time, offering an intriguing insight into both the public and private lives of some of the most prominent characters in British history.


Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598-1664), Jacob, Jacob and His Twelve Sons c. 1640-45. Oil on canvas. © The Auckland Project_Zurbarán Trust. Photograph by Justin Piperger


A highlight feature of the Castle will be the remarkable paintings Jacob and His Twelve Sons by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664), which have now returned to Auckland Castle following an international tour to America and Israel.


Photo by Graeme Peacock


Auckland Castle sits at the heart of The Auckland Project, a multi-faceted visitor destination using art and heritage to fuel long-term regeneration in Bishop Auckland.

To date over £150m has been committed to the project, which will be delivered across seven sites in and around the Castle grounds. These include the new visitor centre Auckland Tower and the UK’s first Mining Art Gallery, which are already open.


For more information on the project, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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