Auckland Castle has been the home of the Bishops of Durham for over 800 years, and is still the Bishop’s official residence today.
Eight hundred years ago the See of Durham, the most powerful Diocese in the North, established Auckland Castle as a hunting lodge for the Prince Bishop. Then virtually monarchs in their own kingdom, the Prince Bishops held military, economic and political power in additional to their ecclesiastical authority.
Auckland Castle, placed above the Rivers Wear and Gaunless and some ten miles south west of Durham, was no mere country residence. The town that grew up around the Castle took its name from the resident of the Castle. Over hundreds of years the Castle was expanded until it became the official residence of the Bishop in 1832.
Auckland Castle’s state rooms have been sensitively restored and are the personification of elegance. The Throne Room is adorned with portraits of Prince Bishops through the centuries, complete with the original Bishop’s throne, and an outstanding view of the grounds. The adjoining Long Dining Room, houses a famous collection of paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran.