The Auckland Project

The 900-year-old former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham and one of the best preserved medieval bishops’ palaces in Europe will once again welcome visitors in 2019 after multi-million pound conservation work is complete.

The Palace will be brought back to its Georgian Gothic splendour, alongside new interpretation which tells the stories of the Prince Bishops of Durham over the centuries.

Art lovers will be able to admire the extraordinary Jacob and his Twelve Sons, the famous series of 12 paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán, which were purchased by Bishop Trevor in 1756. The life-sized paintings spent eight months on display in America before travelling to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem in June 2018. They will return to Auckland Castle in time for the public re-opening, alongside Nicolas Poussin’s The Triumph of Pan from the National Gallery’s Collection, which will be on display at Auckland Castle from 5 October 2019 – 5 January 2020.

The Auckland Project is a visitor destination located in the market town of Bishop Auckland. Comprising Auckland Castle, a walled garden, 150 acre ancient Deer Park, Mining Art Gallery – the permanent home for more than 400 works by mining artists such as Tom McGuinness and Norman Cornish, and newly opened Auckland Tower.  Visitors can find all the information they need to explore the castle, grounds and local area inside the Tower as well as enjoy stunning views of the landscape beyond from the tower’s 15 metre high viewing platform. Other exciting developments due to open over the coming years include the Faith Museum and Spanish Gallery.

Admission to Auckland Tower's viewing platform is included in the entry to the Mining Art Gallery.

Auckland Castle will re-open to the public with a Community Day from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday, 2 November 2019. General admission begins at 10am on Sunday, 3 November 2019. Opening hours thereafter will be Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.