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04 June 2018 - 23 June 2018

Aspiring archaeologists of all ages can step back through the centuries on a summertime search at a County Durham castle.

Excavations are taking place throughout June at 900-year-old Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland to reveal the footprint of the medieval Castle now buried beneath the lawns.

Running in partnership between The Auckland Project and Durham University, the dig will reveal how the Castle’s buildings were arranged and give a fantastic insight into day-to-day lives of its medieval inhabitants.

Informal on-site tours of the dig will be running on a drop-in basis, Monday to Friday from the 4 to the 23 June, offering explorers of all ages to the chance to see inside the excavation trenches and watch archaeologists from Durham University peel back the centuries at the former home of the powerful Prince Bishops of Durham.

Weekend family archaeology sessions will also take place at 11am and 1pm on the 16, 17 and 23 June, giving visitors the opportunity to handle archaeological finds with members of The Auckland Project’s education team

John Castling, Community Archivist at The Auckland Project said: “The findings from this excavation could be of great significance for the medieval archaeology of the region, and for our understanding of the lives of those in the household of the Prince Bishops before the 17th century.

“The tours and archaeology sessions offer a really unique opportunity for visitors to get right up to the trench edge and potentially see and even handle historical discoveries as they are unearthed.”

Professor Chris Gerrard from Dept of Archaeology at Durham University said: “It’s great to work alongside The Auckland Project and we are excited to see what the next three weeks will bring.”

To mark the end of the excavation, on Saturday, 23, June visitors can step inside historic Auckland Castle on a Behind the Scenes Tour to take a peek at the work under way to return the property to its former Georgian Gothic splendour, as designed by renowned English architect James Wyatt.


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