Durham Cathedral has unlocked the doors to Open Treasure, a new £10.9 million exhibition experience that gives visitors access to the magnificent buildings and breathtaking collections as never before.
A new permanent exhibition at the world heritage site charts history of Christianity in the north-east. Using the latest in exhibition technology, Open Treasure combines old with new in a world-class, interactive experience inside previously unseen spaces in the most intact surviving medieval monastic buildings in the UK and displays artefacts dating back to the 14th century.
Visitors can now journey through 2,000 years of history as you venture into the Cloister, which is home to the best-preserved monastic library in the British Isles. The story of these remarkable buildings is told, revealing their historical and architectural significance beginning in the magnificent 14th-century Monks’ Dormitory and ending in the Great Kitchen, one of only two surviving monastic kitchens in the UK. The exhibition reveals treasures from the cathedral’s internationally renowned collection, including stunning medieval manuscripts, rare Anglo-Saxon artefacts and exquisite metalwork.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, the Dean of Durham, said: “Open Treasure is a fantastic way for visitors of all ages to discover more about Christianity in the north-east, the cathedral’s fascinating history as well as our current life as a working church.
“We hope that the interactive displays, fascinating artefacts and amazing spaces will draw visitors young and old from near or far to share this wonderful new venture with us.”
Under the vaulted octagonal ceiling of the Great Kitchen will be a series of glass cases, which will eventually house the precious Treasures of St Cuthbert including fragments of his wooden coffin and his Pectoral Cross in around one year’s time.