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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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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, 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…