Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World
Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World

Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World

Extended until 8 November 2020



Visitors to The Bowes Museum will be able to enjoy the Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World exhibition until 8 November 2020.


The Museum is delighted to announce that it has agreed an extension to the exhibition, which explores myths and legends as seen through the eyes of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.


The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a secret band of Victorian writers, painters, artists and poets who rebelled against the Royal Academy of Art and its promotion of the work of Raphael (which was extremely popular at the time), and who sought to bring reality back to paintings with particular attention to detail, colour and composition.


They were enthralled by the Medieval values of chivalry and honour and explored the mysteries and myths surrounding religion and heroism during that time, creating intricate, colour filled powerful works often depicting love, romanticism and whimsy.


The exhibition includes paintings from prestigious UK collections including the Tate, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Guildhall Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery featuring maidens in distress, knights in armour, saints and chivalry.


Along with paintings by Rossetti, Millais and Holman Hunt, among others, there are also suits of armour and illustrated editions of books by William Morris and Alfred Tennyson. 


Dr Jane Whittaker, Head of Collections, said: “We are really thrilled and grateful that these prestigious institutions and individuals have agreed to extend the loans of their spectacular paintings, books and artefacts, giving visitors to The Bowes Museum another chance to experience these artworks at first hand.”


Visitors to the Barnard Castle based Museum will also be able to see Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection until 17 January 2021 andblimey!Lucretiauntil 11 October 2020.


Admission to the Museum is now by advance booking, tickets for timed entry slots are available from the Museum website: or by calling 01833 690606.


The Museum has been awarded VisitEngland’s We’re Good To Go certification. There are hand sanitisation stations and signage reminding people to adhere to social distancing placed around the Museum and gardens.



The Museum is open from 10 to 5 daily and only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.  Entrance to the shop and Cafe Bowes is free.




Notes to editors:


  • The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes.  Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods. 
  • The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a National Portfolio Organisation receives support from Arts Council England. Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
  • The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment,supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation. 
  • The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 03000 262626,











Categories: News

The Bowes Museum is closed!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Caf� Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

Do please remember, however, that the Museum�s park and grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 � 4.00 daily, and that we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, clues can be found here.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.