Windows Restored at Auckland Castle

May 2019


Members of the team have returned from grade I listed Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, after having restored several of the windows there. This work is part of a major conservation of the castle's state rooms, overseen by Meldrum Construction Services Ltd and supported by grants of £11.4 million. Auckland Castle was once the home of the exceptionally powerful Prince Bishops of Durham, and the complex of buildings at Bishop Auckland are some of the best preserved of the surviving bishops' palaces in Europe. 

In 2018, York Glaziers Trust had been commissioned to survey the decorative, geometric windows leading to the Castle's Victoria Suite. The grid-like designs, punctuated with an interlacing pattern, depict the arms of John Cosin (1594-1672), Bishop of Durham (1660-72), who transformed the medieval great hall into the private chapel of the bishops of Durham. The chapel at Auckland is one of the largest private chapels in Europe, and has remained the private chapel of the bishop of Durham ever since its conception. Cosin's arms are not only found in the stained glass, but are replicated in the seventeenth-century ceiling of the castle's chapel. Cosin was buried at Auckland.    

During the conservation of the eighteenth-century panels, conservators at YGT discovered some graffiti scratched onto the glass by previous workmen. One of the glass pieces reads: 'T. BELLERBY 1937 R. ARMSTRONG'. The 1939 register for Bishop Auckland shows that a Robert Armstrong, painter and glazier, and a Thomas Bellerby, master painter and glass and china dealer, both lived less than a mile from the castle. It is possible that they can be associated with the repairs to the windows. 


For further details on visiting Auckland Castle, and to keep up-to-date on the project, click here.



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