World famous masterpieces coming to Bishop Auckland

Thomas Gainsborough RA (1727–1788), Wooded Landscape with a Milkmaid, Rustic Lovers, and a Herdsman c.1775–1777. Oil on canvas. © Private Collection, courtesy of The Auckland Project.

World renowned masterpieces are coming to Bishop Auckland as a new art gallery prepares to open its doors.

Launching on Saturday, 1st June, the Bishop Trevor Gallery, part of The Auckland Project, will offer a programme of special temporary exhibitions, displaying fine art on loan from national institutions and private collections.

The first exhibition will feature works by masters such as Thomas Gainsborough and George Stubbs.

The new gallery is housed within 900-year-old Auckland Castle and has been named after Bishop Richard Trevor, Bishop of Durham from 1752 to 1771, who lived at the Castle and left a legacy of art in the town.

The Bishop was a serious art collector and gathered a large collection at Auckland Castle, including Jacob and His Twelve Sons by Spanish master, Francisco de Zurbarán, which he purchased in 1756.

The life-sized paintings have hung in the Castle’s Long Dining Room for over 250 years.

Created by The Auckland Project, which owns Auckland Castle, the Bishop Trevor Gallery honours Bishop Trevor’s legacy, bringing famous masterpieces and original works to the town for all generations to enjoy.

The new gallery space sits within a suite of apartments in Auckland Castle, which were first built for Bishop Trevor in the 18th century and have never been open to the public before.

Originally designed by one of the most renowned architects of the time, John Carr of York, the apartments were specially arranged so that the picturesque views of the landscaped Deer Park and surrounding County Durham scenery could be easily admired from the windows.

The first temporary exhibition in the Bishop Trevor Gallery has also taken inspiration from these views, exploring the rich history and beauty of British landscape painting.

The Origins of British Landscape will run from Saturday, 1st June to Sunday, 8th September and features paintings by some of the most influential artists of the 18th century, such as Thomas Gainsborough, George Stubbs and Claude Lorrain.

The exhibition will take visitors through the origins of British landscape painting in the mid-1700s to its development into one of the most enduring and significant genres of British art.

Visitors coming to Bishop Trevor Gallery will also be able to take a sneak peek inside Auckland Castle, which is currently closed to the public while a multi-million pound programme of conservation is taking place.

The castle is due to re-open later in 2019. For more information on the work taking place, visit or for regular updates follow The Auckland Project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tickets to the Bishop Trevor Gallery are available from 1st June, and are priced at £5 for adults, £4 for concessions and £1 for under-16s.

A combination ticket offering entry to three of The Auckland Project‘s attractions, Bishop Trevor Gallery, Mining Art Gallery and Auckland Tower is £10, online booking discounts are available.

Tickets can be booked online at, by calling 01388 743 797 or at The Auckland Tower visitor centre in Bishop Auckland.

For more information, email bookings at aucklandproject dot org.


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