The perfect location for a fairytale wedding, Auckland Castle is an incredibly stunning and unexpected jewel hidden away in the idyllic North East countryside. Once home to the eminent Prince Bishops of Durham and still a Bishop’s home to this day, this beautiful palace is now undergoing a loving restoration at the hands of a dedicated team and is open to the public, not only serving as a wonderful landmark and giving pleasure to all who visit the Castle but also a first rate wedding venue with a wedding package which is entirely bespoke and dedicated to making your big day as unique and special to you as possible.
Over eight hundred years old, Auckland Castle was originally built in this wonderful location above the River Wear and some ten miles south-west of Durham as a hunting lodge for the Prince Bishops, at that time not only ecclesiastical figures but virtually rulers over their own kingdom, and was gradually expanded until becoming the official residence to the bishop in 1832, with the town that grew up around the Castle being named after him. A place for meeting and gathering for many over those eight hundred years the Castle is now not only a meeting place for countless others but also a wonderful venue in which to celebrate one of the most special occasions in a lifetime in one of the most prestigious locations in the North East.
Amongst the Castle’s many wonderful rooms is the Throne Room, a perfect location for your wedding breakfast and reception. Gracious and perfectly proportioned, this room was built to impress and on entering you are faced with the traditional throne, which signifies the elevated status of the Prince Bishops of Durham. Stunning traditional oak flooring is complimented by high ceilings and chandeliers, while an original ornate fireplace and ornamental plaster tie in with the many works of art, which demonstrated the status of the original occupants of the Castle.
This beautiful castle has many wonderful features to make your day extra special not least of which is it’s very own chapel in which your wedding ceremony can be conducted. Originally built in the 12th century by Bishop High de le Puiset as a magnificent banqueting hall in which countless Bishop’s entertained their guests for almost five hundred years and later converted by Bishop John Cosin in the 1660s into a glorious chapel more befitting the wonderful castle, St Peters Chapel has since then been touched by the inspirations of many of the Castle’s Bishops, from renovations carried out by Bishop Van Mildert which are commemorated by his coat of arms cut into the woodwork, to the stained glass windows and six angels which rest upon the supports of the former banqueting hall which are owed to Bishop Lightfoot. This glorious chapel, having been influenced by so many Prince Bishops over the years, encompasses all that Bishop Auckland Castle stood for in the past and evokes the historical atmosphere that makes the Castle so special. Civil ceremonies are also available in one of the Castle’s many beautiful state rooms.
The surrounding estate still retains elements of the 18th century park, including a fish pond, woodland rides, and an impressive deer park fit with long winding drives and eye catching buildings such as the deer house, a rare and excellently preserved example of the 18th century gothic revival sheltering and providing the deer with food and water. The dramatic topography and winding figure of the river Gaunless provide an excellent setting for the parkland, and a stunning background to your wedding photographs.
Auckland Castle bespoke weddings are tailored to your every desire and work with a team of hand picked suppliers who are passionate about the Castle to make sure your wedding is everything you dreamed it would be.
To view some photographs from a recent wedding at Auckland Castle click here: Auckland Castle Wedding Photography