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Libraries and Special Collections in County Durham

Auckland Castle

Home to the Prince Bishops of Durham for over 900 years, Auckland Castle offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the Prince Bishops and the development of the see of Durham across an entire millenium.

The research collections will be of particular interest to those studying art history, local history, theology and religion, architecture, and the lives of the Prince Bishops.

Highlights include the personal library of the Prince Bishops, a twelfth-century banqueting hall, converted into the largest private chapel in Europe by Bishop Cosin, and the internationally renowned Zurbaran paintings.

Plans to establish Auckland Castle as the National Museum for the History of Religion and Faith will ensure that the research collections continue to expand and evolve over the next decade as further acquisitions are made.


Auckland Castle welcomes academic researchers from a wide range of disciplines to use its collections and further their studies.

Access is by appointment only, but staff are happy to try and accommodate the requirements of researchers wherever possible.

Opening times

10:30am - 4.00pm daily (closed Tuesdays).

If you wish to use the Auckland Castle reseach collections then please contact Chris Ferguson to arrange a suitable date and time to visit.

Contact Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle
Bishop Auckland
Co. Durham DL14 7NR

Tel: +44 (0)1388 743750