Durham Cathedral is of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe, renowned for its spectacular location at the heart of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit and you’ll soon discover why Bill Bryson described this magnificent place as the ‘best cathedral on planet earth’!
Durham Castle was the original home of the Bishops of Durham, and has two chapels. The first, the Norman Chapel, was built for the first Bishop of Durham in 1178, making it the oldest place of worship on the World Heritage Site. It has unique carvings on its stone pillars, including a mermaid and other mythical beasts. The Tunstall Chapel was built in 1554 by Bishop Tunstall as part of extensive renovations to the castle. The wood panelling was originally in the Bishop's chapel at Bishop Auckland and is notable for several unusual misericords including a pig playing the bagpipes and a man pushing his wife in a wheelbarrow! Other highlights include the fine organ casing (originally in Durham Cathedral) and several works of art. The original portrait of Bishop Tunstall illustrates the history of the Reformation in England, as he was first painted holding rosary beads which were later painted out. The altar front holds some fine Victorian revival angel paintings.