The Bowes Museum > Join & Support > Individual Support > Patrons Club

Become a Patron


The Bowes Museum has  transformed itself over the past decade with investment from Heritage Lottery Fund, private donors and Trusts and Foundations. It is a Museum of outstanding quality, displaying collections and programming inspiring exhibitions within a beautiful, purpose-built, Grade I listed building set in 23 acres of extensive parkland. Its’ progress has been remarkable, moving from a Museum faced with seasonal closure in 1999, to an engaging centre for learning and research today.

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

We would like to invite you to support the Museum by joining our exclusive Patrons Scheme.

With an annual gift of at least £500 you will be giving substantial and direct support towards securing the future of the Museum, enabling it to continue to operate as a world class institution and further develop its exhibitions, education programme, conservation and aim to become a centre of research and excellence.
In recognition of your support you will receive special privileges and exclusive access to areas of the Museum not usually available to the general public.

These include:

  • Invitations to a series of events led by the Director and curatorial team
  • Exclusive private views to exhibitions before the preview
  • Free exhibition catalogues
  • Credit on the website
  • An invitation to a behind the scenes tour of the Museum with an opportunity to interact with Museum objects.
We do hope you will take up this opportunity to become a more exclusive supporter of The Bowes Museum and look forward to seeing you at our private views and events. In so doing, you will be helping to secure the history of The Bowes Museum for future generations.

For any enquries please contact Alison Nicholson, Fundraising Officer at alison.nicholson@thebowesmuseum.org.uk or 01833 690606 ext 217.

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…