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Durham Castle


Engineering / Construction, Military

Durham Castle is a Norman Castle standing on top of a hill in the city of Durham, overlooking the River Wear. Construction of the Castle began in 1072 under the orders of William the Conqueror just six years after the Norman Conquest of England.

Durham Castle was strategically important for defending the border with Scotland and for controlling local rebellions, which were common in the years following the Conquest. It is therefore one of the greatest monuments of the Norman Conquest to be found in Britain.

The castle functioned as the bishop’s palace for the bishops of Durham until Auckland Castle became their primary residence. The Great Hall in the Castle was created by Bishop Antony Bek in the early 1300s and was the largest Great Hall in Britain at the time of its construction.

Since 1837, Durham Castle has been home of University College, the oldest of Durham University's colleges. In 1986, Durham Castle and Cathedral were inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO reflecting their international importance and outstanding universal value.

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