The Bowes Museum > Join & Support > How Your Support Helps

How Your Support Helps


It is sometimes forgotten that The Bowes Museum is a charity and that it relies on funding and donations in order to continue caring for the collections, building and grounds as well as striving to display rich and diverse exhibition and education programmes.

The Charity’s objectives are to advance the public’s education and enjoyment of art, craft, design and history, in particular, but not exclusively, by acquiring, operating, and maintaining The Bowes Museum, its collections and associated grounds at Barnard Castle, County Durham. Over the last five years the trustees and staff have carried out a wide range of developments, including capital projects (significantly funded by Heritage Lottery Fund), partnership working, and consultation. This has helped to achieve and refine the original vision, all with the purpose of realising the Trust’s charitable objectives.

We need your support in order to: 

  • Underpin curatorial activities at the Museum to ensure that future exhibitions are of sufficient profile and academic merit so that the Bowes is increasingly recognised as an internationally important centre for research and scholarship.
  • Help with collections care, development in the training of volunteers and staff and the conservation of the building and parks to be undertaken to the highest standards, ensuring the longevity of The Bowes Museum and its collections for future generations. 
  • Build on the current education programme for children and help it to focus more on engaging a younger and more urban
    audience with our contemporary and fashion exhibitions as well as providing a finer offer for our regular visitor base. 

To find our more information or discuss how you can support us, please contact Alison Nicholson, Fundraising Officer alison.nicholson@thebowesmuseum.org.uk, 01833 690 606.

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Information about closing


19 March 2020

Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the Coronavirus situation, The Bowes Museum is now closed until further notice. The health and wellbeing of both our customers and our staff is our priority.

Where events can be rescheduled we will endeavour to do so but please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact info@thebowesmuseum.org.uk, however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to The Bowes Museum during these unprecedented times.

Whilst the Museum is closed, we will be working on other ways of sharing our story and collection via our digital platforms. Stay posted for online videos, conversations and more.

We thank you for your patience and your continued support for The Bowes Museum during this unpredictable time. We hope to come back to you with a reopening date shortly, for now, please stay safe and help protect the vulnerable.

25 March 2020

It is with great sadness that The Bowes Museum has taken the decision to temporarily close all gates to the grounds following a spate of vandalism around the parkland.

Since the Museum closed on Wednesday 18 March the benches in the story area have been damaged, the totem pole pulled over and broken, there have been attempts to pull out outdoor trail markers and branches have been pulled down and plants uprooted.

The Museum is working with the police to find the perpetrators of these actions. PC Michael Banks of Durham Constabulary said "This is a shameful piece of criminal damage within the grounds of a historical location in Barnard Castle anyone with information please contact Durham Constabulary quoting reference number DHM23032020-0189"

The Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, said: "It is a shame that the actions of a few will have an impact on many but this closure also ties in with the latest government advice to stay at home to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and the Museum is following in the footsteps of other organisations who have closed gated parks and gardens.

There are tips from our education officer on the Museum's social media platforms for keeping the kids, and yourselves, entertained while in isolation and we'll be updating the website regularly with new and exciting information about the collection.

In the meantime, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and grounds when it reopens."

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

We’ll be back…