About Durham Castle
Durham Castle is a Norman castle that sits atop an outcrop in a bend in the river Wear. It has been occupied by Durham University since 1840 and now forms part of the Durham World Heritage site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham University and buildings in Durham City.
Durham Castle was begun in 1072 on orders from William the Conqueror. The site was an important strategic point and the castle was designed in the Norman Motte and Bailey style, with a central keep and inner and outer baileys.
The castle was donated to the newly formed Durham University in 1840 as accommodation for students. From then until the present day it has been home to the students of ‘Castle College’. The Castle’s Great Hall, which dates from 1284, is used as the College’s refectory and parallels can be drawn between students dining at Castle college and the Great Hall at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
The only access to Durham Castle for the public is via guided tours. Access is restricted to students and private guests.
During University vacations, when students are not in residence, the Castle is used as a wedding venue and provides a wonderful scene for weddings, as well as providing accommodation for guests.