Auckland Castle, County Durham
Auckland Castle is one of the best preserved bishops’ palaces in the whole of Europe and is at the centre of the Auckland Project. After over two years of conservation work, including re-instating historic fabrics, Auckland castle reopened to visitors in November 2019.
The £12.4 million restoration of the castle is part of the Auckland Project, an ambitious £150 million regeneration scheme that already includes the Mining Art Gallery, a viewing tower and the Bishop Trevor Gallery. historic Fabrics from Humphries weaving can be found in The Throne Room, The Long Dining Room & The Breakfast Room.
The Throne Room
Pure Silk Damask for Window Drapes in The Throne Room
An account of the 1791 alterations by the Honorable and Right Reverend Shute Lord Bishop of Durham describes the following, “The window curtains are of blue India damask lined with crimson stuff”
Under the direction of Clare Baron, Curator and Annabel Westman, the blue colour theme for the room was selected from the 1823 John Rutter coloured illustrations of Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire. The illustrations can be found in the British Library and Royal Collection. The scheme was formed around these illustrations as the interiors for Auckland Castle and Fonthill Abbey were designed by leading 18th century architect by James Wyatt.
The design selected for the room can also be found at Belton House in the Blue Bedroom as well as at Woburn Abbey and Belvoir Castle. There is a very similar design in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Collection Boston USA.
Project References: 3049
The Long Dining Room
Green Repp Moiré in Silk and Linen
Humphries Weaving were commissioned to weave a silk and linen repp with Moiré finish for The Long Dining Room curtains.
The rich green colouring was supplied by Auckland Castle in the form of a wool tammy fabric and copied by Humphries Weaving to match.
The Moiré finish in the cloth is uncontrolled and creates a distinct and unique patina within the fabric.
Project References: 3307
The Breakfast Room
Silk and Linen Repp in Blue
In the same construction as The Long Dining Room fabric, the silk and linen repp for The Morning Room differs in that it does not have the Moire finish. This was deliberately chosen to reflect a similar silk and cotton repp fabric from The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Under the guidance of Annabel Westman, the vivid blue shade was chosen from the same fabric, woven by Humphries Weaving, for The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (ref: 1451). This shade was manufactured to copy an original document presented to Humphries Weaving from the Museum.
Project References: 3344