Welcome to the World Heritage Site in Durham

Durham World Heritage Site

Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site occupies a dramatic location on a peninsula high above the River Wear in the North East of England.  UNESCO inscribed the site on the World Heritage List in 1986.  It was among the first to be listed for its significance to the whole of humanity. Today it is owned and managed by the Church of England, Durham University and St John’s College.   This is a busy place where people live, study, work and worship. 

Explore Durham Cathedral, one of Europe’s great Medieval buildings, and home to the shrines of St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede. Discover Durham Castle, built 900 years ago to protect the English borders, and now part of Durham University. Find out about the other gems on Palace Green and elsewhere on this World Heritage Site. Learn about the history of Durham, the spread of Christianity in North East England, and how UNESCO and the University are protecting heritage around the world.


Durham’s World Heritage Site was inscribed by UNESCO in 1986 in recognition of its Outstanding Universal Value.

Durham Cathedral was built between 1093 and 1133 and is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe.

The Castle was home to the Prince-Bishops of Durham, religious leaders who also had secular powers.

A Living Site

Durham Cathedral contains the shrines of two Saints, Bede and Cuthbert.

The Venerable Bede lived in the seventh century and is considered “the Father of English history”. St Cuthbert was instrumental in spreading Christianity in the north of England.

The Castle is used as accommodation and teaching space for the University. It has been a continuous centre of learning for over 1000 years.


Durham Cathedral

Durham University

This is Durham

Durham County Council