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Auckland Castle Welcome to the home of power in the North

Auckland Castle, former seat of power in the North and now our wonderful home. We share the passion of the previous tenants for entertaining, so you’re formally invited to enjoy the lavish monument to opulence and influence, steeped in 1,000 years of political, economic and religious history. Wipe your feet at the door, please.

The Auckland Castle is now closed following a successful summer 2021.

Re-opening March 2022.

If you’d allow us a brief history lesson about Auckland Castle: It used to be that the power of the Prince Bishops of Durham was second only to the English monarchy. Commissioned to defend that monarchy, the Bishops were placed strategically close to the border between England and Scotland – who weren’t always on the best of terms – so they needed a home to match their status.

These men were so powerful that they could raise their own armies and mint their own coins. It’s no surprise then that they enjoyed Auckland Castle and its lush surroundings as their countryside estate, when the pressures of London, York and Durham became too much. While their role has changed with the passage of time, the Bishop of Durham still has influence throughout the modern world.

Auckland Castle September 2020
Throne Room at Auckland Castle
Family In Long Dining Room

Discover the Bishop Trevor Gallery

Named after Richard Trevor, who was Bishop of Durham from 1752 to 1771. Bishop Trevor played an important role in the story of Auckland Castle, having purchased the series of paintings of Jacob and his Twelve Sons by Francisco de Zurbarán, which have hung in the Long Dining Room at the Castle for over 250 years.

The Castle is one of the best preserved Bishops’ palaces in Europe, sitting right at the heart of The Auckland Project. Auckland Castle has reopened its doors in 2019 after major conservation work with State Rooms restored to their original Georgian Gothic splendour, designed by architect James Wyatt. We invite you to step back in time in some very powerful shoes.

Auckland Castle Throne Room

Throne Room

Long Dining Room Auckland Castle

Long Dining Room

St Peter’s Chapel

St Peter’s is acknowledged as one of the largest private chapels in Europe. Originally a medieval banqueting hall, it replaced the original 12th century chapel, which was lost during the English Civil War. In the 1660s, Bishop Cosin transformed the Great Hall into the beautiful sacred space you can see today. He added the decorative ceiling and elaborately carved woodwork screen and pulpits, to inspire people to feel the glory of God and the beauty of holiness.

St Peters Blue Overlay

Conservation, conservation, conservation.

As custodians of this great establishment, we take great pride in maintaining its splendour for our guests to enjoy. After discovering the original wall colourings, furniture, and textiles that decorated this resplendent castle in the 18th century, we’ve restored them to their former luxury so you can bask in all their glory; please, bask away.

Thanks to the work of an incredible team of restorers and conservators, we can now appreciate the scope of the power, wealth, influence, and faith, held by the residents of this beautiful castle. It’s waiting for you to enjoy at your leisure.

Conservation of fireplaces at Auckland Castle

More to explore

If you fancy a break from the noise of modern life, we’ve got a series of suggested walks and things to look out for around our stunning grounds. Fancy a stroll?