A multi-million-pound exhibition will open its doors to the public at Durham Cathedral on Saturday, 23rd July. The Open Treasure Exhibition will tell visitors the story of one of the North East’s most famous and beautiful buildings. It will showcase the history of Durham Cathedral and emphasise the Cathedral’s key role in the evolution of Christianity in the North of England.
The Cathedral has won £3.9 million pounds of lottery funding to help stage the exhibition. It has also invested £10 million of its own money into the endeavour. The revenues raised will contribute to the conservation of the Cathedral and to keeping entrance to the building free.
The exhibits include stones and crosses dating back to Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Roman times as well as many items from the Cathedral’s own magnificent collections such as tapestries, vestments and objects made of precious metals. Visitors will follow a trail which will lead them from the medieval monks’ dormitory to the cloister, taking in several galleries filled with artefacts on the way. Described by the Cathedral as “a journey of discovery and wonder”, this route will allow visitors to admire the dormitory’s famous oak-beamed ceiling and to see the 14th century Great Kitchen, which is one of only two surviving monastic kitchens in the country. A learning and outreach programme will help school parties, families and community groups get the most out of the exhibition.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, the Dean of Durham, said, “Open Treasure is a fantastic way for visitors of all ages to discover more about Christianity in the North East and the Cathedral’s fascinating history as well as our current life as a working church.”
He added, “We hope that the interactive displays, fascinating artefacts, and amazing spaces will draw visitors young and old from near or far to share this wonderful new venture with us.”
Tickets cost between £2.50 and £7.50 and can be purchased from the Cathedral’s website or on the door. The exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm. It is also open from 12.30 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.