Auckland Tower
Building Bishop Auckland County Durham

Auckland Tower

Building In Bishop Auckland, County Durham

A tower based on a siege engine amongst eclectic buildings

Go visit Bishop Auckland and as my brother-in-law said, you could be 'On the Continent'. We certainly had a bright sunny day.

Our desire was to go 'up' the Auckland Tower. You certainly can't miss it! And there is competition! The whole street scene has an eclectic mix with a gothic looking Victorian Town hall, a Georgian arched Castle gateway, the Church of St Annes with its corbelled octagonal belfry and a grand War Memorial in blue and red stone. Nearby there are Tudor looking buildings and of course a Castle.

It was a nice surprise that there is no admission fee for the Tower which can be a starting point for exploring the town. There is plenty of information and tickets for other attractions.

Niall McLaughlin Architects designed the tower basing it on siege engines, using in particular Viollet-le-Duc's drawings to win over the residents in the area. Niall McLaughlin came upon this idea as a whimsical remark to investor Jonathan Ruffer, 'that every castle should have a tower to climb up'. Bishop Auckland Castle does not have a tower


Originally the Tower was going to be made in stone, but Historic England rejected this, so it was constructed as an open timber building, 29metres high, and wedge shaped.

From a distance it looks like steel, but on closer inspection you can tell it is wood. To be precise, European Larch and has a glued laminate. This over time will fade to show the naturally weathered silver grey of the Larch.

When inside look up to the sloping ceiling panels, lighting, and you will see the structures are quite remarkable.

The tower offers a viewing platform at 15metres, which is high enough to afford views over the town and landscape beyond. There is the Roman fort of Binchester, some of the 11 arches of Newton Cap Viaduct (Depending on season), now famous for 'Kynren'. And of course the Castle!


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How To Find Auckland Tower

Where Is Auckland Tower?

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Lat / Long

54.665764, -1.67205

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Where To Park For Auckland Tower?

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Lat / Long

54.665764, 54.665764

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There is parking in the town of Bishop Auckland, we chose North Bondgate Carpark.

Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

More Places from Rosalind
Rosalind Parker

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Auckland Castle
Auckland Castle
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Auckland Tower was listed in Building // County Durham // Bishop Auckland