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, Heritage site

Opening hours

The Castle and The Library Tea Room open 10am-5pm. Last admission 4pm. Closed Tuesday.
The Park open daily from 6am to dusk.

Admission charges

Adults: £6
Concessions: £5
Under 16s: FREE
Season Pass: £15 (Valid Monday 1 February - Friday 30 September 2016)
Concessions: £14

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

Pitmen and Prelates

  • 27 May — 30 September 2016 *on now

The coalfields of Durham have inspired a wealth of political, social, creative and artistic responses. The exceptional ‘mining art’ of County Durham reflects the pride and identity of regional artists, as well as their internal and external struggles over the past two centuries. This spotlight exhibition celebrates the industrial and creative heritage of the region, featuring important works of mining art and previously unseen objects specifically from County Durham. It explores the complicated relationship between the Bishops of Durham and the local mining community, from the Industrial Revolution to the Thatcher era. Leadership on social and political issues was, and remains, one of the most important aspects of the Bishop of Durham’s ministry. This exhibition is the first of its kind to address the association between the bishop’s ministry and the creative enterprise of artists from the coalfield.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free with admission to the Castle Adults £6, Concessions £5, Under 16's free Season Pass £15 per person, £14 Concessions ​Entry to Auckland Park and Library Tea Room free.


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Forty Park Motet at Auckland Castle

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet

  • 27 May — 11 September 2016 *on now

Individually recorded parts of this choral work are projected through forty speakers facing inward in an oval formation, inviting visitors to walk throughout the installation, listening to individual voices along with the whole. Considered Cardiff’s masterwork, The Forty Part Motet is a forty-part choral performance of English composer Thomas Tallis’s 16th-century composition Spem in Alium, sung by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir.

This installation is a deeply moving and memorable experience. It forms part of the ongoing series of contemporary art exhibitions at Auckland Castle, which started last summer with the presentation of Bill Viola’s Martyrs in the chapel. This series of contemporary artworks respond to, examine and question the meaning and expression of faith and belief. These contemporary responses to the nature and expression of faith foreshadow the themes that will be explored in the forthcoming permanent exhibition in the new Faith Gallerie at Auckland Castle (opening 2018).

Suitable for

  • Any age


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

​Entry to Auckland Park and Library Tea Room free.


Yoga at Auckland Castle


  • 1 June — 28 September 2016 *on now

Join in our free weekly Yoga sessions with instructor Fiona Duke, on the bowling green every Wednesday from 1 June until 28 September.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Please bring your own yoga mat. These are drop-in sessions.
For information call 01388 743 797.


Auckland Castle
Market Place
Bishop Auckland
County Durham
DL14 7NR

logo: Museums at Night




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.