The philanthropist who bought and saved Auckland Castle is now backing plans for a light show and theme park on land next to it.
Owners hoping County Durham site will become world-class visitor attraction
The Prince of Wales will take in Auckland Castle, Warkworth, Amble, Red Row and Alnwick on the first day of his visit to the North East.
Artefacts from what's thought to be the English Civil war have been unearthed at Auckland Castle. Archaeologists from Durham University have been excavating the site which will be open to the public at the end of the month.
The Auckland Castle Trust hopes to uncover 900 years of history.
After 10 days of digging in Bishop Auckland, remains of a building have been laid bare in a trench on an area close to the castle's Scotland Wing.
Auckland Castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson, says the volume of debris is a 'puzzle and could suggest a very dramatic end' to what looks to be a substantial structure.
A bed that dates back to the 15th century is going on display in the North East. It's the only bed surviving from the Tudor period and was designed to celebrate the wedding of Henry the 7th and Elizabeth of York - a marriage which brought peace and launched the Tudor dynasty.
It'll be shown to the public at Auckland Castle in County Durham.
Dr Christopher Ferguson, Head Curator at Auckland Castle, said:
"Richard Foxe, former Bishop of Durham in the late fifteenth century, was a key supporter of Henry Tudor's claim to the throne of England. Foxe met Henry whilst exiled in France, and fought with him at Bosworth Field. He was his key diplomatic advisor and set up the marriage of Henry's daughter, Margaret, to King James IV of Scotland. It therefore seems fitting that Auckland is the first venue for this bed to be displayed to the public.
– Dr Christopher Ferguson, Head Curator at Auckland Castle
"Auckland Castle is already home to many important works of religious and secular art, such as the seventeenth century paintings of Francisco de Zurbarán. We're delighted to be able to showcase this historic treasure, the only remaining piece of early Tudor state furniture, here in North East England."
The royal bed of Henry VII [1485-1509] is set to go on public display at Auckland Castle in County Durham from Wednesday.
The Paradise State Bed, which is 527 years old, was used by Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York and is the only Tudor royal bed in existence.
The exhibition is to mark Henry Tudor's accession to the throne of England.
The Prince of Wales will begin a two-day visit to the North East at Auckland Castle, before he makes his first ever visit to the Northumberland Coast. He will continue on to Warkworth, Amble, Red Row, Boulmer and Alnwick.
Prince Charles has pledged his support to the region in a personal message to be shown to visitors to a North East food festival this weekend.
In the short film, which will be broadcast at Bishop Auckland Food Festival, the Prince offers his "most heartfelt good wishes" to the people of the region and in particular, those behind plans to develop Auckland Castle.