HNS Conference 2022 Excursions

1. Visit to Durham Cathedral and Castle

A walking tour of the World Heritage sites. Friday afternoon. Price £15

Durham Cathedral, surrounded by trees

One of the most famous cathedrals in the United Kingdom, the Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert, the Cathedral stands high above the River Wear and is recognised as the largest and finest example of Norman architecture in England.

Benedictine monks started building in 1063 CE in order to provide a suitable shrine for the body of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The building was substantially completed in 1133 and the saint’s body which had undergone a journey lasting centuries, was finally laid to rest.

The Cathedral lies within the precinct of Durham Castle. First constructed under the orders of William the Conqueror, building started in 1072, just 6 years after the Norman Conquest.

Buildings of Durham Cathedral

Initially, construction took place under the supervision of Waltheof, the Earl of Northumberland. However, the Earl rebelled against William and was executed in 1076.

Walcher, the then Bishop of Durham, purchased the earldom, taking control of the castle and became the first Prince-Bishop of Durham, a title that was to remain until the 19th century, and was to give Durham a unique status in England.

In the centuries that followed, many kings and queens of England visited the castle including Edward I, Philippa of Hainault Queen to King Edward III, Henry III, King John, Edward III and Henry IV.

The Great Hall, which will house this year’s Conference Dinner, was built by Bishop Bek in preparation for, and in honour of, a visit by Edward I in the 13th Century.

Interior of Durham Cathedral

On Saturday Evening there is a choice of events to choose from.

a. The Kynren Experience – Price £50

“Travel through time and watch legends come to life. Kynren’s evening blockbuster performances are ranked 5* in Trip Advisor.

Night time scene with fireworks

"Two thousand years of history, myth and legend rush by in 90 minutes as we join young Arthur on his epic quest. Rebellions, wars, magic, majesty, celebration and heartache are vividly brought to ground-shaking life in a dazzling outdoor-theatre spectacular.

"From Boudicca’s battles with the Romans to two world wars, via Vikings, Tudors and the fate of Charles I, Kynren’s a spellbinding, family-friendly experience delivering thrills, shocks, tears, laughs, goosebumps and gasps on a truly cinematic scale.” (11 Arches – producers of the Kynren Experience website)


b. Medieval Banquet at Blackfriars’ Restaurant. Price £90

The founders of Durham Cathedral, the Benedictine Monks, were also known as the Black Friars due to the colour of their habits.

Long table set with plates and glasses

On Saturday evening you’re invited to step back in time for a sumptuous feast, served on communal tables, by monks and town wenches, in the restaurant’s candle-lit Banquet Hall, which King Edward III used to receive Royal Scot, Edward Balliol, in 1334. Feast on pottage, roasts and pastries. Includes a free glass of real ale or fine French wine.