Museums play a key role in highlighting County Durham's unique cultural history and are also an important part of tourism in the county.
Binchester Roman Fort, approximately one and a half miles north of Bishop Auckland, was once the largest Roman fort in County Durham. You can explore the impressive remains of a Roman bath house with its amazing 1,700 year old under floor heating system.
Bishop Auckland Town Hall is a multi-purpose cultural venue in the heart of this market town. The building itself dates back to 1862, but once inside this historic building you enter a diverse and thriving environment with art exhibitions, theatre performances, live music events, films and concerts. Local societies and groups also meet in the town hall for talks, activities and dances.
A key element of Durham's arts programme, Gala Theatre and Cinema is a fabulous purpose-built complex on the banks of the River Wear. The venue houses a state-of-the-art modern theatre, spacious and comfortable cafe-bar, two cinema screens and superb conference facilities.
A visit to Killhope, the North of England Lead Mining Museum is a unique and unforgettable experience. Award-winning Killhope is a fully restored nineteenth century lead mine, where you can experience the life and work of the lead mining families of the Pennine dales.
Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon (which is a partnership with the National Railway Museum) celebrates the region's railway heritage. The museum site incorporates the former home of pioneering railway engineer Timothy Hackworth, along with two other historic railway buildings. In addition, the Modern Collection Building houses around 70 heritage vehicles.
Items exhibited in local museums and galleries may be provided by private individuals either on loan (usually for the duration of an exhibition), as a donation or as a bequest upon the death of the owner. For further information please see our Museums and galleries - loans, donations and bequests page.