Auckland Castle walled garden restaurant dome approved

Artists impressions shows domes in the garden Image copyright SANAA
Image caption Durham County Council has approved plans for domes to be built in the garden at Auckland Castle

Plans to build a restaurant in the former private gardens of the Bishops of Durham have been approved by Durham County Council.

Auckland Castle Trust said work on the 17th Century walled garden in Bishop Auckland will start in September.

The £10m scheme will see large glass domes placed in the tiered garden and other landscaping work designed by Japanese architects SANAA.

It is part of a £60m development of Auckland Castle.

A visitor centre and viewing tower between the castle and Bishop Auckland market place have already been approved, as have plans for a museum extension on the castle's Scotland Wing.

Image copyright SANAA
Image caption The garden dates from the 17th Century

David Ronn, managing director of the Auckland Castle Trust, said: "We wanted something that would help us stand apart and positively contribute to the transformation of Bishop Auckland into a place of international architectural, cultural and recreational renown.

"While an expression of contemporary culture, the design is a showpiece that complements and enhances the historic setting within which it sits."

Archaeological work on the garden has found the remains of glasshouses used for growing pineapples and other exotic fruits.

As well as the restaurant and events area, the 2.5 acre garden will also be remodelled with new paths and plants and the repair of the Bishop's stairs.

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