Daily Archives: 14th August 2023

Joint MCR/SCR visit to the Auckland Project

Spanish Gallery

It seemed a good idea to plan an ‘outing’ for SCR members during
the long vacation, and where better to go than the Auckland Project,
an astonishing cluster of cultural treasures that have been assembled
in and around the re-furbished Bishop’s Castle in Bishop Auckland? The
plan began as a joint venture between Chad’s and Mary’s SCRs but
gradually spread its wings to include MCR members and several from
Van Mildert.


Martin Kinnear’s talk

A group of 22 (half coming via Minibus and half self-propelling)met by the Gallery of Spanish Art on the
morning of the 9th August. This was the main focus of our visit
and we were prepared for it by a luminous introductory talk by
Martin Kinnear (himself a distinguished artist whose work will be
exhibited at St Mary’s College in the second half of next term).



Members of the group then had an hour or so to view the four storeys of the beautifully appointed gallery before having lunch, either in the Tapas
Restaurant beside the Gallery or in the ‘Bishop’s Kitchen’ in the
Castle. In the afternoon group members divided according to their
preferences, whether to visit the Mining Art Gallery, the Castle
interior, the Walled Gardens or the Park, and the minibus
left for Durham at 4 pm.

From early October a new ‘Faith Gallery’, in a handsome purposedesigned
building, will be added to the unique range of attractions
that the Project offers. Together they amount to a transformation of
the historic heart of Bishop Auckland and a great enterprise of
urban renewal as well as architectural rejuvenation. All this is the
brainchild of one man, Jonathan Ruffer, whose vision began with his
acquisition of the famous Zurbaran pictures of Jacob and his twelve
sons, which hang in the castle. Many members of our group were
seeing these sights for the first time, and I think it is fair to say
that they were greatly, and pleasurably, impressed.

Peter Fisher, SCR Social Secretary