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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Where Is Auckland Tower

Where Is It?

What three words
models.bunny.trout

Lat / Long
54.665764, -1.67205
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Turn left out of Northgate carpark and walk to roundabout and then right to market place, pass the Town Hall and church. Around the corner and the tower should be highly visible pass the war memorial.


Where To Park?

What three words
bond.trunk.else

Lat / Long
54.665764, -1.67727

Show Parking On Google Maps

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

Rosalind Parker

Place 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.

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