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Museum Fundraising Campaign Takes a Step Nearer its £1m Target

The Bowes Museum has moved a step nearer reaching its £1m fundraising target after securing additional pledges of match funding for its endowment fund. The Museum’s fundraising campaign was launched in June 2012, following a successful award of £1m under the Catalyst Endowmentsprogramme; a joint enterprise between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and Arts Council England (ACE). Designed to bring new money into the cultural...

The English Rose - Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent

The concept of the ‘English Rose’ will be celebrated in a major new exhibition, opening at The Bowes Museum in May 2016.   The catalyst for The English Rose – Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent - a salute to 400 years of society beauties - is a portrait recently acquired by the Museum via Arts Council England, in lieu of inheritance tax from the estate of the Duke of Northumberland.   Olivia, Mrs Endymion Porter, by court painter Van Dyck, was painted...

Sex and the City meets Cinderella at The Bowes Museum

Powerful? Practical? Crippling? Comfy? - whatever your taste in footwear it’s certain to be reflected in The Bowes Museum’s major summer exhibition.   The Museum is the only UK venue outside London that will stage Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, organised by the V&A, which opens on 11 June 2016.   Taking the themes of transformation, status, seduction, creation and obsession, it features over 200 pairs of historic and contemporary men’s and women’s shoes by 70 named...

Boxes, Baskets & Bunny Ears Spell Easter Fun At The Bowes Museum

Egg-citement is in the air at The Bowes Museum, with a superb range of family activities on offer over the Easter holidays.   The action begins with a Family Fun Day on 28 March. In these egg-citing drop-in workshops you can celebrate Easter with a raft of craft activities including: Easter baskets containing a treat; cute lamb and chick pompoms; beautiful bunny ears and an Easter themed hunt. The event runs from 11.00 – 4.00 and is free for children, who must be accompanied...

A British Museum Spotlight Tour From Temple to Home Celebrating Ganesha

From Temple to Home: Celebrating Ganesha, a spotlight exhibition developed by the British Museum, opens at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle on Saturday 21 May 2016.   Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with approximately 900 million followers. Among the many deities worshipped by Hindus, Lord Ganesha holds a special place in their hearts. The elephant-headed Ganesha is one of the most popular Hindu gods, and is known as the creator and remover of...

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Information about reopening


We are delighted the Prime Minister has announced that museums can reopen this summer. We understand you are excited at the prospect of visiting The Bowes Museum and would like to assure you we have been developing plans to welcome you back into our beautiful building by late August; we are working on vital social distancing measures so you, staff and volunteers can be confident of a safe environment which everyone can enjoy.

We take pride in offering a relaxed and enjoyable day out for all the family, and with that in mind we are extending the Museum passes we have issued in the last year. Our exceptional Norman Cornish exhibition will continue until Autumn 2020 and we are planning to release details of a packed events programme, including the Christmas Market, over the coming weeks.

In the meantime the grounds of The Bowes Museum are open to be enjoyed by walkers and cyclists, in line with the government guidance on COVID-19. The parkland can be accessed through the front pedestrian gates between 10.30-4.45 daily. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and understanding, and ask people to respect social distancing guidelines when they visit.

You can keep up to date with developments, including our reopening date here or on our Facebook and Twitter.