Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle
Market Place
Bishop Auckland
County Durham
DL14 7NR





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.
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, Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site, Heritage site

Opening hours

1 May - 30 September 2013:
Everyday except Tuesday; 10.30am - 4.00pm

Guided tours:
11.30am and 2.00pm

Admission charges

Adults: £8.00
Concessions: £6.00
Children (over 12): £4.00
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children): £20.00

Children under 12 free.
Accompanying carers free.

National Art Pass holders receive 50% reduction on admission.

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

Hidden Treasures: Spanish Art in County Durham

  • 15 October — 30 March 2015

Discover the little-known treasures of Spanish art from across the region in this exciting new exhibition at Auckland Castle.

Hidden Treasures: Spanish Art in County Durham will showcase a number of works that have never before been seen on public display. This includes a significant series of Spanish paintings depicting the Twelve Apostles from Durham Cathedral, on public display for the first time in nearly half a century.

The exhibition will uncover the fascinating stories behind the North East’s treasures of Spanish art, from their arrival in County Durham, to their conservation and restoration today. These objects will be displayed alongside Auckland Castle’s internationally important cycle of paintings, Jacob and his Twelve Sons by Francisco de Zurbarán.


Included with admission to the Castle.


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.

A Georgian Christmas

  • 21 November — 21 December 2014 *on now

10.30am -4pm Friday, Saturday and Sundays

Food tasting 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm

Come and see the state rooms bedecked in boughs of holly and other greenery as we bring the outside indoors in true Georgian festive fashion.

Choose whether or not you wish to pass under or around the traditional Kissing Bough hung in the Gentleman’s Hall and claim your Yuletide embrace!

And join in the fun of our Twelfth Night celebrations in the Long Dining Room under the gaze of our world famous paintings of Jacob and his 12 Sons.

Until the Victorian age, Twelfth Night (January 6) was the climax of the Christmas season marked in grand style with often risqué games, feasting, and fun and merriment.

Auckland Castle’s spectacular and elaborate Twelfth Day cake decorated with symbols representing our nine Georgian bishops, forms the centrepiece of our celebrations.

Listen to our storytellers too as they help you relive the magic of how Christmas may have been spent by our high-spirited Georgian ancestors, then get a taste for what would have been served at an 18th century festive meal.

So come on in, claim your Christmas kiss and celebrate the season of goodwill Georgian style.


Included with admission to the Castle.