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).
Gallery, Historic house or home, Heritage site
The Castle and The Library Tea Room open 10am-5pm. Last admission 4pm. Closed Tuesday.
The Park open daily from 6am to dusk.
Under 16s: FREE
Season Pass: £15 (Valid Monday 1 February - Friday 30 September 2016)
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.
- 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.
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).
- 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.
Scottish Soldiers Project: Exploring the mass grave of 1650 discovered in Durham City
- 1 June 2016 From 6:30pm
New analysis carried out on skeletons discovered in a centuries-old mass grave in Durham, UK, has led experts to conclude they are the remains of Scottish soldiers taken prisoner after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar. What happened to their bodies has been a mystery for almost 400 years – join Durham University researchers to hear how they have begun to solve the puzzle and discuss some of their exciting findings. Speakers from Durham University’s Department of Archaeology include: Professor Christopher Gerrard – team leader; Richard Annis – Archaeological Services; Dr Anwen Caffell – human bone specialist; Dr Pam Graves – historical archaeologist.
- Any age
Lecture tickets cost £6 and must be paid for in advance. If you have an Annual Pass (costing £15) lectures are free but please book your place in advance as spaces are limited. If you would like to purchase an Annual Pass, please call 01388 743797.
Any questions or to book a place, please email email@example.com or call 01388 743797.
- 1 June — 28 September 2016
Join in our free weekly Yoga sessions with instructor Fiona Duke, on the bowling green every Wednesday from 1 June until 28 September.
- Any age
Please bring your own yoga mat. These are drop-in sessions.
For information call 01388 743 797.
The Villiers Quartet
- 17 June 2016 From 7:30pm
The Villiers Quarter will be performing compositions such as, Beethoven: Quartet, op 18, no. 6, Jose Gonzalez Granero: Noche del Amor Insomne and Mendelssohn: Quarter in A minor op 13.
The Quartet who have toured across the UK and internationally, have been declared one of the best young quartets around today.
- Any age
Season Tickets can only be purchased from Brian Varley 11 Dene Hall Drive, Bishop Auckland, DL14 6UF : £55 Single concert tickets purchased in advance either from Brotherton’s, Music Shop, 205 Newgate St, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7EL or from Brian Varley, 11 Dene Hall Drive, Bishop Auckland, DL14 6UF : £13.50 Individual concert tickets purchased on the door: £15 Under 18’s free, tickets required.
How Does Heritage Speak to us Today? Unlocking the past for today's world
- 6 July 2016 From 6:30pm
The word heritage tends to suggest fine old buildings, treasured artefacts and beautiful landscapes. Of course it’s all these things. But it’s much more because of how we human beings belong to and “inhabit” our heritage. People add “textures” to the places they value and want to care for. In this lecture, Michael Sadgrove explores this interaction between people, communities and their heritage and asks how this can enrich our understanding of and bring both intelligence and enthusiasm to our conservation and enjoyment of heritage whether old or new.
The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove was Dean of Durham. He has extensive experience of church heritage in cathedrals, churches and pilgrimage sites. He has written and lectured on religious heritage, most recently in his book Landscapes of Faith: The Christian Heritage of the North East, written to mark the residency of the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham in 2013. He retired in 2015 and lives in Northumberland.
- Any age
Lecture tickets cost £6 and must be paid for in advance. If you have an Annual Pass (costing £15) lectures are free but please book your place in advance as spaces are limited. If you would like to purchase an Annual Pass, please call 01388 743797. Any questions or to book a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01388 743797.
The Acacia Duo
- 15 July 2016 From 7:30pm
Performing various compositions such as W.A.Mozzart: Andante KV315, Anton Bernhard Fürstenau: Fantasie, Jacques Ibert: entr’acte for flute and harp, Joseph Jongen: Danse lente and Benjamin Godard: Suite de trois morceaux. The Acacia Duo met in 2008 whilst studying at The Royal Academy of Music, London. They had an instant rapport and formed the ‘Acacia Duo’. Since then they have delighted audiences with their dexterity and talent. -
- Any age
Season Tickets can only be purchased from Brian Varley, 11 Dene Hall Drive, Bishop Auckland, Dl14 6UF : £55
Single concert tickets purcashed in advance from either Brotherton's Music Shop, 205 Newgate St Bishop Auckland, DL14 7EL or Brian Varley, 11 Dene Hall Drive, Bishop Auckland, DL14 6UF : £13.50
Individual concert tickets purchased on the door: £15
Under 18’s free, tickets required