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Multimedia Resources

The Bowes Museum WW1 Project

Throughout September and October 2017, The Bowes Museum Education Department hosted sixteen local schools to take part in a WW1 project.  The children listened to a story about a local boy, entitled One Boy’s Story, who joined the army despite being only 15 years old.  Stanley Dobson from Co Durham, tells of his excitement of joining up, but it soon turns to despair as the true reality of war unfolds.  Sadly, Stanley was one of the many who did not return and the children were able to see a picture of his war grave in France.

The children spent time looking and finding out about objects from WW1 including a German anti-tank gun, which is on loan from the DLI Museum.  They also visited the Museum’s Library and Archive where they spent time finding out about the Roll of Honour, and looking at documents from WW1, including a copy of the Teesdale Mercury from 8th March 1916.  The children were fascinated with the story of an egg that was donated to the National Egg Collection by a Belgian refugee living in Barnard Castle.  A local vicar wrote the name and address of the donor on the egg and she subsequently received a thank you letter from a Canadian soldier in hospital in France, who had been served the egg for his breakfast! 

During the afternoon sessions the children learnt about poetry in WW1.  They listened to poems written by men involved in the war; For The Fallen by Lawrence Binyon and Flanders Fields by John McCrae.  The children discussed their feelings when hearing the words and seeing imagery of the war.  They also listened to a poem written by Brenda Williams, based on the novel War Horse.  This led to discussion about the animals that helped in the war.  When the children then came to write their own piece of poetry, we found many poems written from the perspective of an animal – a horse, a dog, catching rats in the trenches, or pigeons, carrying messages home. 

Some of the children involved from each of the schools have since recorded their poem.  Please listen to the links to hear the children’s responses to the workshop:

Bowes Hutchinson Primary



Butterknowle Primary



Cotherstone Primary



Evenwood Primary



Gainford Primary



Hamsterley Primary



High Connsicliffe Primary



Ingleton Primary



Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary



Montalbo Primary



Ramshaw Primary



St Mary RC Primary

Faith's group

Jessica's Group

Staindrop Primary



Toft Hill Primary



Woodland Primary



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Audio Guides

Listen and Learn! Explore The Bowes Museum with our children’s audio guide narrated by storyteller Adam Bushnell. As you wander through the galleries listen to interesting facts about 21 of our most fascinating objects!

Download the MP3 files by clicking on the links below.

1. Loom

2. Lead soldiers

3. Noah's Ark

4. Two headed Calf

5. Reliquary

6. Norimono

7. Fish Swimming

8. Amphora

9. Gainford Stone

10. Sedan Chair

11. Vionett Dresses

12. Cotherstone

13. John Bowes Portrait

14. Joséphine Bowes Portrait

15. Meissen Bottle

16. Meissen Cup and Saucer

17. The Penny Farthing

18. Snow Scene

19. Fountain Mask

20. Sappho

21. The Silver Swan



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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.