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Your Open Treasure journey begins in the magnificent 14th century Monks' Dormitory where our monks once slept.

Bringing history to life

In this vast space, discover the fascinating origins of Durham Cathedral and the spread of Christianity in North East England .


  • Dress up as a Benedictine monk – for children and adults!
  • See extraordinary Roman and Anglo-Saxon stones
  • Smell incense, beeswax and medieval kitchen spices
  • Will you be a Hostiller or Sacrist in our interactive cartoon?


Look up!

The Monk’s Dormitory is recognised as the best preserved large monastic dormitory in the UK. Each of the 21 oak beams in the roof is made from an individual tree trunk.

It was once divided by wooden partitions into narrow cubicles where our Benedictine monks would study and sleep.

Bedtime and books

In 1856 the Monk’s Dormitory became a library and it still is today. You can see the books on the walls all around you in the exhibition. Find out more in the Cathedral Library.  


Where next?

Step through the airlock to the ever-changing exhibitions.