Auckland Castle Trust

Auckland Castle was the medieval palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham, and was their country residence from 1183. Until recently its vast and beautiful buildings – and the artistic treasures within – were visited by just a handful of people every year.

The Castle and its contents, including the celebrated pictures of Jacob and his twelve sons by Francisco de Zurbaràn, are now in the hands of the Auckland Castle Trust, who plan to restore the Castle and gardens, and create nationally important exhibitions focussing on faith and freedom in Britain. The project will drive economic and social regeneration in Bishop Auckland, attracting £3 million per year into the area within five years and creating job and training opportunities.

Tarnside is delighted to be supporting the trust as it raises the final £12m to make an ambitious and transformational £50m scheme a reality. This is an extraordinary appeal which has already attracted £1 million gifts from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Headley Trust and the Rothschild Foundation.

At its heart is the principle that what people think is the determinant of their welfare, not primarily what they do. The enemy of transforming thought is the monochrome quality of lives lived in adversity, and the key is to find a circuit-breaker which can lift a community out of self-doubt. In Auckland Castle, there is an extraordinary confluence of forces for good, which can be harnessed; this project will take these qualities, and give them practical purpose for the benefit of the community.
Jonathan Ruffer, chairman of Trustees