Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

Durham Castle and Cathedral

Many of the rooms at the Durham Radisson Blu feature spectacular views of Durham’s World Heritage Site. One of the first UK sites to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, its historic and architectural importance are unique. In fact, Durham Castle and Cathedral are among the most spectacular monuments of the Norman conquest of Britain.

The site as you see it now has been in use for almost 1000 years. Taking a day to explore it during your Durham visit is an absolute must.

Discover Durham Castle

Construction of the castle started in 1072, commissioned by William the Conqueror. It served as the home of the Prince Bishops for years. In more recent times, it became home to the students of the University College.

Under the control of William Walcher, the Bishop of Durham, many of the Castle’s first buildings were constructed. The castle was built in a typical Norman style, with a mound that featured an inner and outer walled area.

In defensive terms, Durham Castle served as protection against Scotland, as well as English rebellion after the Norman Conquest.

Step back in time at Durham Cathedral

For 1000 years, the Cathedral has served as a religious building, a place of pilgrimage and an educational centre. It was built a few years after the castle in a Romanesque style, between 1093 and 1133.

Durham Cathedral is the oldest surviving building with a large-scale stone vaulted ceiling. At the time of construction, this building technique was unique, and became a leading example for the roofing of large buildings with stone.

The architecture of the cathedral has survived largely intact too, making it truly majestic. This intact architecture separates it from other important Norman buildings in the country, which have been through enough changes to make them unrecognisable. It was perhaps for this reason that Durham cathedral was used for several scenes in the first two Harry Potter films.