Conference: Princes of the Church and their Palaces (Bishop Auckland, County Durham 30 June – 4 July 2015)

Tuesday 30th of June – Saturday 4th of July

Important developments in research, conservation, and public presentation are currently taking place at Auckland Castle, the Bishop of Durham’s former residence.

In association with them, this conference will consider bishops’ and popes’ palaces from across Britain and Europe, and will stimulate discussion on:

  • How bishops’ palaces and houses differed from the palaces and houses of secular magnates, in their layout, design, furnishings and functions;
  • the relationship between bishops’ palaces and houses and their political and cultural context;
  • their relationship to the landscapes and towns and cities in which they were set, and their relationship to the parks, forests and towns which were planned and designed around them;
  • the architectural form of bishops’ palaces and houses, and how far they shared common architectural features across England, Wales, Scotland, and indeed across Europe.

Anyone with an interest in Auckland Castle itself or in historical monuments in general is warmly invited to attend and take part in discussions. The conference will be the fullest treatment of bishop’s and popes’ palaces ever undertaken.

Keynote speakers:

  • Simon Thurley – English Heritage
    What is special about bishops’ palaces? (Domestic performance of liturgy, private chapels, cloisters).
  • Maureen C. Miller – University of California Berkley
    Political and cultural significance of the Bishop’s Palace in Medieval Italy
  • Malcolm Thurlby – York University, Toronto
    Bishop Puiset’s Hall at Auckland Castle in relation to later Twelfth-Century episcopal halls in England.


Christopher Ferguson, Jacqueline Sturm, Michael Burger, Julia Barrow, Pippa Hoskin, John Hare, Michael Ashby, Margaret Harvey, Christine Penney, Robert McManners, Graham Jones, Jack Langton, Linda Drury, Andrew Miller, Mark Horton,  Tim Tatton-Brown, John Schofield, Stuart Blaylock, Richard Parker, Martin Biddle, Jeremy West, Matthew Reeve, Gottfried Kerscher, Rick Turner, Penny Dransart, Pam Graves, Jane Cunningham, Adrian Green, Richard Pears, John Martin Robinson, Ria Snowdon.

The conference will take place at Bishop Auckland Town Hall and Auckland Castle.

For more information call 01388 743750 or email

Full details, including the full programme, booking forms & travel/accomodation information can be found at

Published by James Alexander Cameron

I am an art historian working primarily on medieval parish church architecture. I completed my doctorate on sedilia in medieval England in 2015 at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

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