Bishop Auckland's latest attraction which has been a decade in the making opened last week to the public with a grand opening ceremony.

The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle finally opened to the public on Saturday (May 25) at 10.30am following an extensive re-development just in time for summer.

The project consists of the castle’s Walled Garden, Faith Garden, Broadwalk, Wilderness Garden and a new Victorian-inspired glasshouse, which lies in the upper half of the Walled Garden.

The Northern Echo: The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle.The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle. (Image: THE AUCKLAND PROJECT) 

The man behind the rebirth of the attraction is Pip Morrison, whose previous work includes Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, which surrounds the commentative statue of Princess Diana.

She said of the project: “We've designed a garden that responded to the history of the site as the productive garden of the Bishops of Durham but also created something visually appealing to visitors.   

“The project is designed to be sympathetic to Auckland Castle’s architecture and was a consideration when developing the designs, planting, and textures." 

The Northern Echo: The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle.The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle. (Image: THE AUCKLAND PROJECT)

On the day of the opening, philanthropists Jonathan and Jane Ruffer were there at the ribbon cutting surrounded by smiling staff, eager to let the public come and explore the new attraction.

Jane, who is a co-founder of The Auckland Project, said: "Auckland Castle’s Walled Garden was important as a functional and productive space, but also showcased the wealth and resources the Prince Bishops had at the time.

The Northern Echo: Click the image above for more local eventsClick the image above for more local events (Image: NQ)

"It is part of County Durham’s history, so we’re thrilled to be opening the gardens, restoring them to their original purpose but with a modern design. 

The Northern Echo: The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle.The Auckland Project's Walled Garden at Auckland Castle. (Image: THE AUCKLAND PROJECT)

"We’ve enjoyed working with Pip on his masterplan and are thankful for how The Auckland Project’s gardening team have helped bring it to life."


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Andy Nesbitt, head of parks, gardens & landscapes at The Auckland Project, added: "From a personal perspective, I’m excited to bring our visitors even closer to the valuable work our volunteers and gardeners do.

"By making everything, including the glasshouse, open to visitors, we hope to encourage everyone from novice gardeners to green-fingered experts, providing advice and inspiration in an informal setting."

An unlimited pass for The Auckland Project costs £27 a year for adults and can be used to access the new walled garden.