Durham Castle, together with the Cathedral, was awarded the status of a World Heritage Site in 1986 providing international recognition for this unique, historic and scenic site. Standing side by side on a prominent hill top site and encircled by the wooded slopes of the meandering River Wear, the Castle overlooks the medieval City of Durham with its fascinating narrow streets.
It is likely at a Saxon fortress existed on the site now occupied by Durham Castle from around the 10th century. The earliest surviving parts of the Castle date from around 1072 when William the Conquerer ordered the construction of a new fort. Since this time the Castle has had a fascinating history as fortress, palace and finally as a college of Durham University.