Attraction in Durham
The castle has had an extremely interesting history, particularly in relation to the range of functions which the buildings have performed as a fortress, the principal palace of the Bishops of Durham and, since 1837, as the home of University College, the foundation college of Durham University. The castle now also houses an accredited museum, unusual in that it is contained within a living and working college community.
The original building was commissioned by King William the Conqueror (1066-87) and has been adapted over the centuries. The Great Hall was built in 1284 and is now used as the dining hall of University College, whilst the extensive kitchens date from 1499. By far the most beautiful feature of the castle is the tiny Norman chapel, the pillars of which depict animals and plants providing some of the most interesting Norman sculpture in existence.
Entrance to the castle is by guided tour only. Tours during university terms are normally available Monday to Sunday at 1400, 1500 and 1600. Tours during university vacations are normally daily on the hour and half hour from 1000 to 1230 and 1400 to 1700. Opening can vary - please telephone 0191 334 3800 to check days open and guided tour times.
Nearest UK Airport: Newcastle
Months Open: For guided tours all year round with restrictions
Groups/Parties Welcome: Yes
Discount for Groups: Yes - for guided tours £4.50
Car Parking: Yes
Admission Price: Adults: £5; Concessions: £3.50; Children: £3
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