They selected the naturally strengthened site within an incised loop of the River Wear as the setting for their brand-new cathedral. The only landward method to the promontory is protected by Durham Castle, which was established by William the Conqueror in 1072 however was quickly provided to Bishop Welcher. The castle remained the chief seat of the bishops of Durham till 1836, when Bishop Van Mildert provided it to the newly established university.
As seen from throughout the Wear, castle and cathedral form a splendid phenomenon. It is the cathedral which dominates, but this can just be expected of England’s celebrated Norman church. Above the river the castle provides a simply residential façade, the domestic structures protruding from the fantastic hall to the edge of the precipice. Clearly, the steep drop was thought about protection enough. Whereas Durham Cathedral is still basically a Norman building, the castle exhibits architecture of every century from the eleventh to the nineteenth, showing the altering tastes of the bishops, and is remarkable as a palace rather than a fortress. In outline, nevertheless, the castle is still a Norman fortress, comprising a triangular bailey neglected by a large motte.
The promontory within the loop of the Wear was given a stone enclosure wall for additional protection under Bishop Flambard in the early twelfth century. Much of this wall remains in a featureless condition, especially on the west side beyond the cathedral structure. Near the soythern apex is the Water Gate, rebuilt in 1778. The brief gap between the castle motte and the eastern arm of the river was nearby a more powerful wall and ditch.
The only landward technique to the promontory is secured by Durham Castle, which was established by William the Conqueror in 1072 but was soon provided to Bishop Welcher. The castle stayed the chief seat of the bishops of Durham till 1836, when Bishop Van Mildert gave it to the newly founded university. Whereas Durham Cathedral is still basically a Norman structure, the castle exhibits architecture of every century from the eleventh to the nineteenth, showing the changing tastes of the bishops, and is memorable as a palace rather than a fortress.