The Spanish Gallery

Immerse yourself in the Spanish Golden Age at the UK’s first gallery dedicated to the art, history and culture of Spain.

Free Highlight tours of the Spanish Gallery every Wednesday

The Auckland Project is delighted to be working in partnership with the Zurbaran Centre at Durham University whose doctoral students will be delivering the tours.

Spanish Gallery

Auckland Castle has been home to Francisco de Zurbarán’s series of Spanish masterpieces Jacob and His Twelve Sons, for over 250 years. These striking paintings are the starting point for this new gallery, in the heart of Bishop Auckland.

Things to see and do

  • Discover the UK's largest collection of 16th and 17th-century Spanish artworks outside London, including work by El Greco, Murillo and Velázquez. Opening with Zubarán's Benjamin, the only work not originally bought in 1756 by Bishop Trevor, the Gallery reunites the brothers in Bishop Auckland and tells the story of these masterpieces' journey from Spain to England, over 300 years ago.
  • Explore our remarkable exhibition ‘In the Blink of an Eye', which features physical facsimiles of great Spanish works of art including made by Factum Arte and Factum Foundation using the latest digital technologies.
  • New for this year, enjoy a taste of Spain at the Gallery's Tapas restaurant, El Castillo, serving Spanish-inspired food made from delicious, seasonal ingredients grown in our own gardens or sourced locally.


The Grade II listed Backhouse Bank building and neighbouring Barrington School building in the centre of Bishop Auckland have been transformed into the new Gallery by architectural practice Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Our work

Learning and engagement are at the centre of our vision. Getting up close to the works in the Spanish Gallery is an exciting, immersive and engaging experience.

The gallery draws on works from our collection and develops a series of activities and exhibitions in partnership with Durham University, as well as institutions and galleries from around the world.

Among the artworks due to feature in the inaugural exhibition is El Greco’s remarkable Christ on the Cross (1608–10), which was purchased with a generous grant from the Art Fund.

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