Durham Cathedral's Stone Auction to be held on Saturday 19th October at 1pm at the 12th Century Chapter House at Durham Cathedral (DH1 3EH)

On View 14th- 19th October  at The DLI Garden at The College and The Works Yard Car park,  Monday 14th to  Friday 18th October 9.30am-4.30pm Saturday 19th  October 9.30-1pm start of sale.

Catalogue coming soon 

All stones purchased will come with a certificate of authenticity.

**All purchases must be paid for within 3 working days of the auction. Successful bidders are responsible for the collection for further details regarding collection**

For details on Pre-registering, Payment, Collections and Delivery please go to the bottom of this page.

Durham Cathedral’s Stone Auction offers public the opportunity to own a piece of history

On Saturday 19 October 2019, Durham Cathedral is hosting an exciting stone auction; offering members of the public the unique opportunity to own a piece of history for themselves. The event, which is the first of its type for the UNESCO World Heritage Site, will see stones taken from the top of the Central Tower during the recent renovation work, available to purchase and take home.

The unique stones, taken from the top of the tower, are made from Prudham sandstone and have formed an intrinsic part of the fabric of the Central Tower, some of which date from the Victorian period when renovation work was last carried out in 1861.

The stones will be available to view from 14-19 October, ahead of the auction, on 19 October, 1pm-3pm. The auction will be held in the 12th century Chapter House, an area normally closed to the public, with the help of Anderson & Garland, the leading North East auction house.

Gaye Kirby Head of Development and Strategy at Durham Cathedral, said: “Durham Cathedral has a long history of adorning the skyline of our historic city and the stone auction provides people with an opportunity to literally own a piece of that history. All proceeds will go toward supporting our Foundation 2020 endowment campaign and so will forever support the cathedral’s ongoing repair work”.


Foundation 2020 is Durham Cathedral’s public campaign to build a £10 million endowment fund, to cover the cost of annual repair work to the nearly 1,000 year old Norman building.  Bidding for a stone will boost the fundraising appeal, as every donation will be matched £1 for £1 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

As well as bidding on the day in person, there will be opportunities to bid online. Anderson & Garland will be producing a catalogue profiling the type, shape, size and provenance of the Central Tower stones, each an historical gem in its own right.

Julian Thomson, Chairman and Managing Director at Anderson & Garland said: “The fact that Durham Cathedral continues to win awards and attract thousands of people each year as one of the UK’s favorite destinations, is testament to the special place it holds in people’s hearts.

“As such, we are expecting lots of interest both nationally and internationally, from people wanting to get their hands on a piece of this historic stone. It’s certainly the first auction of its kind that we've ever been involved in. It has been utterly fascinating to learn more about this wonderful, globally renowned, place of worship and the heritage of its stonemasonry throughout the process.”

Brian Logan, of Baldwins Accountants, the firm that sponsored the Central Tower reopening, is familiar with the stones up for auction. He said: “We’re delighted to be involved with the stone auction and continue our support of Durham Cathedral.  This is a remarkable opportunity to own a living piece of Durham’s rich history.  It’s incredible to consider the amount of effort and skill that went into crafting these stones, some of which have been in place for over 150 years.”

Keep an eye out for updates on the auction on the cathedral’s Facebook and Twitter accounts @durhammcahedral, and at for your chance to #OwnAStone and #OwnYourHeritage.

Brief History of the stones

The stones that we will be selling in the auction were sourced from Prudham Quarry and were put on the Central Tower from 1858-1861 to replace the dangerous Roman Cement on the Tower. Thomas Winter, a city builder and mason based in Claypath, was responsible for the removal of the Parker’s Roman Cement, restoration of the parapet, recasing the Tower with the new stone, the rebuilding of the buttresses, restoration of the belfry windows and replacing the statues the sat around the outside of the Tower. A number of architects, stone masons, carpenters, joiners, and builders were employed to work on the project, including RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal Award winning George Gilbert Scott, who designed buildings such as St Pancras Station, The Albert Memorial, and Kings College Chapel. George Gilbert Scott conducted the initial survey on Durham Cathedral in 1858.

The entire project cost £7,238.17.0d. In today’s figures this equates to approximately £428,027.41.

The stones today

The stones being sold in the Auction have an incredibly rich history. They were removed from the Tower during the recent renovation which took place from 2016-2019. They sat on the top of Durham Cathedral’s Central Tower for over 150 years.

The proceeds from the Auction will go towards the Foundation 2020 campaign which seeks to build an endowment fund of £10 million to secure the future of the Cathedral for generations to come. The money raised by these stones will ensure the preservation, conservation, care and day-to-day maintenance of the Cathedral in perpetuity.

Pre-Registration, Payment, Collection and Delivery of Stones


To participate and bid in the auction you will need to register. This is a simple process that you can do at (go to My Account and then register) and will require a credit/debit card to verify your address - please note that the card details are not stored. Once your registration has been verified you can leave an absentee commission bid, bid-live or attend the auction and bid in person (please come on the day to the registration desk on the cloister to collect a paddle number).

All purchases must be paid for within 3 working days of the auction. Please note on sale day you can make payment at Chapter House, Durham Cathedral by cash or by credit/ debit card, Please note after sale day you cannot make payment at Chapter House, Durham Cathedral but you can at  Anderson & Garland at Anderson House, Crispin Court, Westerhope, NE5 1BF.  You can also make payment at anytime  on-line at or by bank transfer (details at the bottom of your invoice). 

Collection and Delivery

Successful bidders are responsible for the collection and delivery of any and all stones won at the Auction.

Smaller lots can be collected from the Cathedral immediately after the auction through to the 25th October. Please contact our Development Assistant, Olivia Willmore, on 0191 374 4055 to arrange a suitable collection time with our Works Yard.

The larger stones, along with any remaining smaller lots, will be removed from the Cathedral by Corner’s Transport to their warehouse in Barnard Castle, DL2 3PX on the 28th October. Successful bidders will then be able to arrange collection or delivery of their stones from 4th November from this location.

Corner’s Transport can provide a quote for transporting your stone anywhere within the UK. Alternatively you can arrange to collect your stone in person or use another transport service to collect your stone from their warehouse. To get a quote from Corner’s Transport or arrange a collection time please contact Stephen Corner on 0183 362 7252.

Please note that if your stone has not been collected by 18th November you will be charged £3 a day for storage and Corner’s will not release your stone until this has been paid. If you have any questions please contact Corner’s Transport.