Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle
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Set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland above the River Wear, Auckland Castle has been home to the Bishop of Durham for over 900 years.

After the Norman Conquest, the Bishop of Durham was granted exceptional powers to act as a political and military leader. As England’s one and only Prince-Bishop, he was the second most powerful man in the country and effectively ruled the area between the Tyne and the Tees.

The Castle is now home to many important works of art, most notably the paintings of Jacob and his Twelve Sons by Spanish master Fransisco da Zurbarán (1598-1664).

Venue Type:

Gallery, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Winter Opening

The Library Tea Room will be open 10:30 am – 3:30pm every day except Tuesdays.
Auckland Castle will open fully to the public from Saturday 14th February 2015.

Admission charges

Adults: £8.00
Children (under 16):£free
Accompanying carers are given free admission.
National Art Pass holders receive 50% reduction on admission.

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Plots and Spangles

  • 16 October 2015 — 11 April 2016 *on now

Presented within Auckland Castle's beautiful State Rooms, this exhibition of lavishly embroidered priest's vestments tells the compelling and tragic tale of one woman's religious devotion in the aftermath of the Gunpowder plot. This impressive collection has been described as 'the single most important body of work by a named Englishwoman in early modern times'.

Helena Wintour was only six years old when her father, the notorious Gunpowder plot conspirator Robert Wintour, was captured, put on trial and executed. She dedicated the rest of her life to the service of the Catholic faith, and to creating this rare collection of thirteen highly decorated ceremonial garments. Each of the vestments is embroidered by hand and embellished with sequins, precious stones and pearls.

This is the first time the full collection has been reunited in nearly 350 years. The vestments will be displayed alongside other seventeenth-century artefacts including Guy Fawkes lantern and a first folio of Shakespeare's Histories and Tragedies from 1623. Together these objects tell a complex story of faith, treason and devotion.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free with admission to the Castle
Adults £6, Concessions £5, Under 16's free
Annual Pass £15 per person, £14 Concessions


Auckland Castle
Market Place
Bishop Auckland
County Durham
DL14 7NR




01388 743750

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.