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Document of the Month


Anniversary card marking first anniversary of Joséphine's death, 1875

Joséphine died in February 1874 and her funeral was held in the church of Ste. Trinité, Paris.  Following French custom, her coffin remained at the church for a year and then an anniversary service was held.  This card was probably sent to John by one of Joséphine’s circle of female friends to mark the anniversary.  The coffin was then taken to the chapel at Gibside, another Bowes property in County Durham, while a memorial chapel was to be built in the Museum grounds.  The chapel was not completed before John’s death in 1885.  Eventually the Trustees and the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham exchanged land and the Bowes Memorial Church was consecrated in 1928, when the coffins of John and Joséphine were interred just outside the church. (Ref. JB/8/5)

The Bowes Museum is closed!


All of us at The Bowes Museum are really sad to announce that we have had to close until Wednesday 2 December in line with new national restrictions.

As a result, we have been forced to cancel events that were due to take place during this time. If you have a ticket for an event or entry to the Museum before this date, you will be contacted to arrange a refund or to make an alternative booking. All Christmas activities including the Christmas Market and Santa’s Grotto are expected to go ahead as planned.

Happily, we are still able to welcome walkers and cyclists to the Park and Gardens as usual, including the Playground area, and cars will be admitted between 10.00 and 4.00 daily.

We have so loved welcoming people into the building again, safely enjoying our displays, eating in Café Bowes and browsing in our shop, so please in the meantime keep safe and we hope to see you back again soon.

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