10 things you should know before visiting Open Treasure

Planning a trip to Open Treasure when it opens next weekend? Here are 10 things you should know before you visit, from practical information about tickets to fascinating facts about the incredible spaces along the exhibition route!

  1. Open Treasure is a permanent new exhibition experience located at the heart of Durham Cathedral’s medieval monastic buildings. There is a modest charge to enter Open Treasure, but entry to the Cathedral Church remains free for all.
  2. Open Treasure tickets cost £7.50 for adults, £6 for concessions and £2.50 for children aged 5-18. Open Treasure is free for under 5s, and annual passes are also available to take advantage of the rolling programme of exhibitions in the Collections Gallery
  3. Tickets are available online and from the Visitor Desk in the Cathedral. Tickets are available in advance or on the day of your visit. Visitors will be able to choose an hourly time slot to make the most of their visit to Open Treasure. To book tickets online, please click here.
  4. Open Treasure will be open 7 days a week, from 10.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Saturday (last entry 4.00pm) and from 12.30pm – 5.00pm on Sundays (last entry 4.00pm).
  5. Open Treasure is an interactive visitor experience for visitors of all ages. Exhibits in the Monks’ Dormitory evoke the sights, sounds and smells of life in a medieval monastery, and there is even the chance for children to dress up as a monk!
  6. Durham Cathedral has made Open Treasure as accessible as possible, no easy feat in a medieval building! There is lift access throughout and an accessible toilet half-way through the exhibition route. Seating is also available in the Monks’ Dormitory and Great Kitchen so you can take time out to admire the incredible architecture.
  7. Open Treasure will transform public access to the Cathedral’s collections, which have been hidden away for many years. Don’t miss the stunning church plate and metalwork exhibition in the Great Kitchen, which will eventually house the Treasures of St Cuthbert following a period of environmental monitoring.
  8. Highlights of Open Treasure include the Monks’ Dormitory, the UK’s only intact surviving monastic dormitory with an original fourteenth-century oak ceiling, and the Great Kitchen, one of only two surviving monastic kitchens in the UK.
  9. Open Treasure staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout the exhibition route to answer any questions you might have and provide a friendly welcome to all visitors.
  10. And last but certainly not least, the spaces along the Open Treasure exhibition route, along with Durham Cathedral’s Cloister, represent the most intact surviving set of medieval monastic buildings in the UK! Nowhere else can you feel such a palpable sense of history and imagine the scale of the medieval monasteries which were once found all over the UK until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Durham survived relatively unscathed, and the buildings that remain provide a unique insight into life in a medieval monastery, whilst revealing the story of Durham Cathedral and its incredible collections.

We look forward to welcoming you to Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral, open to the public from Saturday 23 July 2016. To book tickets online, please click here.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has supported Open Treasure with a grant of £3.9 million.


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