A public opening date has now been confirmed for an historic North East castle, which was once home to some of the country’s most influential figures.
900-year-old Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, is re-opening in November 2019, following a three-year conservation programme led by regeneration charity and visitor destination, The Auckland Project.
An Auckland Castle Community Day will be held to mark the launch on Saturday, 2 November with general admission beginning the following day (Sunday, 3 November).
Once home to the powerful Prince Bishops of Durham, Auckland Castle’s State Rooms have been sensitively returned to their original Georgian Gothic splendour, while the Bishops’ private apartments are being opened to visitors for the first time, offering an intriguing insight into both the public and private lives of some of the most prominent characters in British history.
The conservation has been supported by a number of organisations and individuals, including a £12.4m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Also housing the Bishop’s Kitchen café and a small shop, Auckland Castle will form part of The Auckland Project visitor destination, which already includes the Mining Art Gallery, Deer Park and Auckland Tower visitor centre and the Bishop Trevor Gallery.
A Faith Museum, Spanish Gallery and reimagined 17th century Walled Garden are also under development, to create a collection of seven destinations in and around the Castle grounds.
Delivered by a charity of the same name, the purpose of The Auckland Project is to create positive change for those living, working and visiting Bishop Auckland and to ensure the town’s future is as magnificent and vibrant as its past.
To date approaching £150m has been committed to achieving this long-term ambition, with visitors to Auckland Castle and the broader visitor destination also playing a crucial part in helping to bring it to life.