The Bowes Museum is a well-kept secret and a hidden gem in the heart of beautiful Teesdale. The stunning structure, which houses internationally renowned collections of fine and decorative arts, stands majestically in Barnard Castle, a historic market town. The Bowes Museum, which was purpose-built by John and Joséphine Bowes in the nineteenth century, has a fascinating storey to tell.
Although John and Joséphine ensured that their Museum was filled with treasures, storage and exhibition space is restricted due to the museum’s long history of collecting. At every turn, there are important and priceless artefacts from all across Europe on exhibit, each with its own storey to tell. The Museum’s most popular exhibit, on the other side, is the 240-year-old Silver Swan. The Bowes bought the Silver Swan, a one-of-a-kind English silver automaton, in 1872. The life-size model at the Museum is still working and is utilised on a daily basis.
The vast collection spans three levels of the magnificent building and contains far too many items to list. The government has given the Bowes Museum Designated status in honour of its outstanding collection, which includes paintings by Canaletto and Goya, Sèvres porcelain, and André-Charles Boulle marquetry.
Today’s visitors to The Bowes Museum may not only learn about John and Joséphine’s extraordinary journey and marvel at the incredible exhibits, but they can also participate in a fun exhibition programme. The Museum’s tourist attractions are rounded out with activities in the park, as well as a popular café and store, making it fit for the twenty-first century. The fascination and intrigue of the magnificent legacy that John and Joséphine left to the people of Teesdale remain, but humane modifications have transformed the attraction into a popular, dynamic, and exhilarating day out for everyone.