The Conservation of Auckland Castle

The Conservation of Auckland Castle
March 11, 2020 humphriesweaving

The conservation of Auckland Castle

Following the recent conservation of Auckland Castle they have published a wonderful blog sharing details of the 24 companies involved across all aspects of the project, including Humphries Weaving. There is plenty of online content to enjoy whilst the property is closed.

“Despite being almost 1,000 years old, Auckland Castle is one of the best preserved bishops’ palaces in Europe.

Before it re-opened in November 2019, the Castle underwent three years of conservation work, transforming the State Rooms to their original Georgian Gothic splendour, as designed by the renowned architect James Wyatt (1746 – 1813).

This work involved a number of expert conservators and consultants, who peeled back the layers of history to reveal some of the Castle’s secrets.”


Under the direction of textile adviser Annabel Westman, Humphries Weaving created 137 metres of blue pure silk damask for the Throne Room and Ante Room curtains and 172 metres of green moiré fabric for the Long Dining Room curtains. The blog includes a quote from Humphries Weaving;

“A lot of our processes retain a human touch, to get the most accurate colour match, our colourist used archive material to create a ‘recipe’ for the dye, reading each colour by eye to decide whether or not to add one hundredth of a millilitre of dye.

The fabrics took about a week on the loom and each loom is constantly watched by a member of the team, keeping a keen eye out for any blemishes or inconsistencies in the fabric.

The green moire fabric created for the Long Dining Room curtains also required a handmade technique. A moire finish gives a watered effect on the fabric, and to acquire that effect we had to pass all 172 metres of the fabric by hand through our custom-made machine. It is a challenging part of the process, once the rollers start there’s no way to stop them without taking scissors to the fabric.

We have enjoyed working on the conservation of Auckland Castle, as with all of the historic properties we work with we always want the end result to be something we are really proud of.”


To read more about the other crafts and specialists involved in aspects of the restoration click on this link. Or you can explore the Auckland Castle Project page.



  • Humphries Weaving is a leading British manufacturer of custom Jacquard fabrics proudly based in Sudbury, Suffolk. We believe in design excellence and integrity above all else and use our extensive knowledge, unique archive, and technical skill to produce beautiful and interesting fabrics for the world’s most prestigious clients. For more information visit;
  • The Auckland Project is like nothing you’ve come across before. It’s a project that spans over a thousand years, seven venues in one beautiful setting.We’re all about Bishop Auckland, a small town but one with a big history and big ambitions.
  • Annabel Westman is Executive Director of The Attingham Trust for the study of historic houses and collections and has a distinguished reputation as an independent textile historian and consultant. She is a trustee of Stowe House Preservation Trust and was appointed a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1997.