Durham Castle, Durham

Durham Castle, Durham (must see)

In Durham, on a peninsula overlooking the wooded banks of the River Wear, sits Durham Castle. Its construction began in 1072 under the orders of William the Conqueror. The Earl of Northumbria, Waltheof, was tasked with building the Durham Castle until he rebelled against William and was executed in 1076. The castle then came under the control of the Bishop of Durham, Walcher, who became the first of the Prince-Bishops of Northumbria, a title that was to remain until the 19th century.

The Durham Castle is of typical Norman design. It consisted of a motte (mound) and inner and outer baileys (walled areas). During the rule of Henry VIII, the building was morphing into a palace. James VI, King of Scotland, was entertained there in 1617. Charles I of England visited in 1633 and again in 1639. The Durham Castle had become a Royal watering hole.

In 1832 The Castle became housing for students of the newly founded University of Durham. The building is dominated by its keep, erected in the 14th century. The greater part is built around the courtyard, entered through a gatehouse by the defensive moat.

Within the courtyard, there are the keep and the Great Hall of the west wing. In the Hall is a 500-year-old working kitchen. The Great Hall holds the imposing dining area used for scenes in the Harry Potter films. The Black Staircase of 1662 is one of the most impressive in England.

The Palace Green between the Castle and Durham Cathedral was once the location of the central market of Durham. The Green, linked to the town center by Owengate street, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a university don.

Designated in 1986 as a cultural World Heritage Site, Durham Castle is open to the general public.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Durham. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Durham Castle on Map

Sight Name: Durham Castle
Sight Location: Durham, England (See walking tours in Durham)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Durham, England

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Creating your own self-guided walk in Durham is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Durham Introduction Walking Tour

Durham Introduction Walking Tour

The monks from Lindisfarne were on the run in 995, the Vikings hot behind. The monks were carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert. The Saint's bier stopped. Along came a milkmaid who had lost her dun cow. The coffin moved and the monks followed the maid to a high hill by the River Wear. The bier stopped again and, despite the effort of the monks, would not move. The monks had found their place.
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles