Upcoming Events


Inside the Clockwork Mouse

28 October, 3.00,

Inside the Clockwork Mouse

As part of a day of drop-in activities marking the departure of the Clockwork Garden exhibition, join clockmaker Matthew Read as he takes a hands-on approach to looking inside automata - toys that move. From antiques to the modern day, sprockets, springs, cogs & levers are as important today as they were when the Museum’s Silver Swan and mechanical mouse were made. This short, fun talk will use modern clockwork toys to explain how automata work and why taking things to bits is great fun and a brilliant way to learn.


The Bowes Museum’s Swan Automaton

2 November, 2.30

The Bowes Museum’s Swan Automaton The serene movement of the Silver Swan automaton belies the intricate workings of its 18th century mechanism. Join clockmaker Matthew Read, as he reveals what makes the Swan tick and how the philosophical and commercial context of the period generated one of the world’s great automatons. 

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The Photography Project

4 November, 10.00, £15.00 (Places limited to 10)

The Photography Project

In this half day workshop, photographic artist Lee Karen Stow shares thoughts and tips on how to create and sustain a personal photography project or long-term body of work. Learn how to turn your chosen theme or passion into an individual narrative, expressing what you love about life. She will also look at ways to share your work, to exhibit and ways to get your work seen. Suitable for photographers with moderate to advanced level of experience. Cost includes the artist’s talk Poppies: Women, War and Peace, which follows at 2.30. 

Places are limited so book now


Poppies: Women, War, Peace

4 November, 2.30, £3.00 adults talk only, or free with Museum admission

Poppies: Women, War, Peace Join photographer Lee Karen Stow to discover more about the inspiration behind her international touring exhibition Poppies: Women, War, Peace.  The project remembers women whose lives have been affected by war, from WW1 to conflicts of today, alongside a botanical series of the poppy wildflower in all its colours. Her work is inspired by Moïna Bell Michael and Madame Anna E Guérin who immortalised the Flanders Fields poppy as a symbol of remembrance a century ago. Cost includes refreshments.

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The Art of the Actor

12 November, 2.30

The Art of the Actor Join Dr. James Harriman Smith (Newcastle University) & members of the Castle Players for a unique insight into the role of paintings in historic performance. Eighteenth-century acting manuals repeatedly advised their readers to study paintings, but what exactly were actors meant to be looking for? Through a mixture of research presentations and practical examples, we will attempt to answer that question, and to shed new light on the Museum’s own paintings, by Zoffany, of the actor David Garrick. 

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Note: Online booking closes the day before the event takes place. Call 01833 690606 to see if places are still available.

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