The Bowes Museum > About > Our History > Projects

Projects


Since 2005 significant improvements have been made to The Bowes Museum. Its roof has been fully renewed making the building watertight; the ground floor has been totally renovated, providing introductory galleries, an enlarged café and gift shop and a new reception area; new galleries have been created on the 1st and 2nd floors; and a new paintings store, library and reading room have been built; a gallery devoted to English Interiors 1500 - 1900, and a redeveloped park. Supporters have included:

Heritage Lottery Fund

One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership

English Heritage

Northern Rock Foundation

The Monument Trust

The Foyle Foundation

DCMS / Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund

Garfield Weston Foundation

European Regional Development Fund

Designation Challenge Fund

Durham County Council

The Shears Foundation

County Durham Foundation

The Friends of The Bowes Museum

The Headley Trust

The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust

Sir James Knott Trust

Mercers Charitable Foundation

Welton Foundation

Idlewild Trust

Margaret Phyllis Mewhort Trust

Fenwick Ltd

P T Settlement

The Bill & May Hodgson Charitable Trust administered by Dickinson Dees

Completed Projects


The Bowes Museum has undergone a series of projects to improve facilities and its infrastructure.  These include refurbishments to the following areas:

Entrance Hall

Café Bowes, Shop and Visitor Amenities

Gallery of English Interiors 1500 - 1900

Temporary Exhibition Gallery

Fashion & Textiles Gallery

Accessible Store

Picture Galleries

Silver and Metals Gallery

Function Suite

The Reference Library & Archives Reading Room

Park and Gardens

Ceramics Galleries

 

Current and Future Projects


After a considerable period of capital redevelopments, The Bowes Museum is planning its final stage of improvements which include making better use of its storage facilities, giving greater access to its public areas and more. It is also running an ambitious project to mark the centenary of the First World War. To learn more about what is happening, and what is planned for this project, visit our WW1 Project website:

Visit WW1 website.

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


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. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

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 Café 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.

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.