Palace Green

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Durham Union Palace Green.jpg
Pemberton Building, Abbey House (Theology Department) and Cathedral, all facing onto Palace Green
LocationDurham, England, United Kingdom
Part ofDurham Castle and Cathedral
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (iv), (vi)
Inscription1986 (10th session)
Coordinates54°46′28″N 1°34′33″W / 54.77444°N 1.57583°W / 54.77444; -1.57583Coordinates: 54°46′28″N 1°34′33″W / 54.77444°N 1.57583°W / 54.77444; -1.57583
Palace Green is located in Durham, England
Palace Green
Location of Palace Green in Durham, England

Palace Green is an area of grass in the centre of Durham, England, flanked by Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. The Cathedral and Castle together form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although initially not part of the site itself, Palace Green was added to the UNESCO site in 2008.[1][2]

It is situated on top of the narrow, high peninsula formed by a sharp bend in the River Wear. The Cathedral is on the southern side, facing the Castle across the Green on the north side. To the east are Durham University buildings including the law, theology, classics and history departments, with the music department and the university's special collections library to the west.

From the north and east Palace Green is accessed by two cobbled streets called Owengate (formerly Queen Street) and Dun Cow Lane, the latter taking its name from a local legend involving a milkmaid and her cow. From the west a passageway, 'Windy Gap', leads down to the banks of the River Wear between two buildings which are now part of the university Music School. Early in the twentieth century one of the buildings had been the home of the novelist J. Meade Falkner, author of Moonfleet.

In summer, Palace Green is sometimes used by students of Durham University as a croquet lawn on permission from the groundsman of University College Durham.

'Palace Green' is also the name of a hymn tune written by Michael Fleming (1928-2006) while a music student at the university, for the hymn 'Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above'.[3]

Palace Green, with Durham Cathedral beyond

Buildings situated on Palace Green[edit]

Listed clockwise:

Panorama view of Palace Green, showing Durham Cathedral to the left, the old University Library in centre, and University College and Owengate to the right.


  • Margot Johnson. "Palace Green" in Durham: Historic and University City and surrounding area. Sixth Edition. Turnstone Ventures. 1992. ISBN 094610509X. Page 4.
  1. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Convention - Evaluations of Cultural Properties, pp101" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Durham's World Heritage Site expands". 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  3. ^ "Michael Fleming". Church Times. 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2008-03-15.

External links[edit]