The Auckland Project is a charity dedicated to the regeneration, conservation and celebration of the stories and heritage of the former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham. For the past ten years, we’ve worked hard to create opportunities for the people and communities around Auckland Castle, our galleries, gardens and experiences. Our hope is that by creating a visitor destination which genuinely helps our local community to flourish, protecting our environmental and cultural resources, we can create a sustainable and thriving town.

The sites we operate are:

The Spanish Gallery is the UK’s first gallery dedicated to the art, history and culture of Spain. It tells a story of Golden Age Spanish art during the 16th and 17th centuries, exploring how its artists expressed the tension between man’s yearning for eternity and the self-evident transience of life.

Auckland Castle is former seat of power and one of the best preserved Bishops’ palaces in Europe. We reopened the doors in 2019 after major conservation work, with State Rooms restored to their original Georgian Gothic splendour, designed by architect James Wyatt. Visitors are invited to enjoy this lavish monument to opulence and influence, steeped in 1,000 years of political, economic and religious history.

Containing the works of prominent artists – many of whom were local to the area, including Tom McGuinness and Norman Cornish – the intimate and awe-inspiring Mining Art Gallery gives visitors a truly unique insight into the lives and souls of coal miners. Step into another world to see depictions of life in the mines, but also the communities that grew around them.

The Weardale Railway is an 18-mile long heritage line running from Bishop Auckland to Eastgate in County Durham, which runs a mixture of diesel heritage trains as well as catering trains, such as afternoon tea, and an extensive Christmas event.