Durham Cathedral and Castle, World Heritage Site

Durham Castle, Durham Cathedral , England

Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle were inscribed by UNESCO as one of the first of the British World Heritage Sites in 1986. Durham Cathedral was built in the late 11th and early 12th centuries to house the relics of St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede. It is the finest example of Norman architecture in England. Behind the cathedral stands the castle, an ancient Norman fortress which was the residence of the prince-bishops of Durham.

The boundary of the World Heritage Site at Durham surrounds the Castle, the Cathedral, The College and Prebends Bridge. Durham Cathedral and Castle stand together on a plateau surrounded on three sides by the River Wear. They represent Norman power plus the spiritual powers of the Prince Bishops, who for centuries were amongst the most powerful men of northern England.

Durham Cathedral was built between 1093 and 1133 It was the first major English Church to be entirely stone vaulted and to use ribbed vaulting. The cathedral is the burial place of two of North's the great religious men. St Cuthbert, one of the early missionary saints, and the Venerable Bede, eminent scholar and first real historian of the English people.

Durham Castle was built by the Normans to replace the motte and bailey fortifications that guarded peninsula. Originally intended as a border fortress, it developed into the palace of the Bishops of Durham. The medieval bishops continued to develop the castle and after it ceased to be a fortress in the 17th century more lavish accommodation was provided, and the redundant fortifications transformed into gardens and terraced walks. In the 1830s the bishops left the castle which then became home of the newly established University of Durham.

Durham Cathedral Wikipedia

Durham Cathedral Durham Cathedral official site

Durham Castle Wikipedia


World Heritage Sites in Britain