Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Durham Castle (Durham)

Durham Castle, along with its famous neighbour Durham Cathedral, dominates the view across the River Wear of the historic city of Durham.

It is a Norman castle, built on the motte and bailey plan, and was started by William I about 1072.

On completion, the castle was given to Bishop Walcher, and for centuries it remained in the hands of the Bishops of Durham. They were known as the Prince-Bishops, as the power they wielded in the North East of England was roughly equivalent to that of a king.

Durham was attacked many times, particularly by the Scots, but the castle was never taken.

In 1832, when Bishop van Mildert established Durham University, the castle became its central building, and continues in this role to this day.

Much of the Norman architecture is still in evidence, and the Great Roof, dating from the late 13th century, has a superb roof. At the entrance there are massive 16th century doors.

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