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The Bowes Museum

Housed in a purpose-built Victorian building which opened in 1892, the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle is centred on John and Josephine Bowes' collection of European fine and decorative arts from the 15th century, one of the finest in Britain.

The museum's three floors contain a veritable A to Z of collectables, from archaeology to toys and wood carvings. Particularly popular is the amazing Silver Swan, a musical automaton which rests on a bed of twisted glass rods with silver fish. When the mechanism is wound, the swan looks around and preens its back before dipping into the glass-rod water beneath to swallow a fish as the music stops.

Visitors will also find ceramics, clocks & watches, furniture, glass, metalwork, musical instruments, paintings (particularly Spanish), photographs, prints, drawings & manuscripts, sculptures, silver, stained glass and textiles.

The archaeological collection includes a range of finds from Piesbridge Roman Fort near Darlington, helping to trace 2000 years of the region's history.

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

The Bowes Museum Information


When: Daily

Where: Barnard Castle

Cost: £7; concessions £6; under 16s/disabled carers free

Opening Hours: 11am-5pm; closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year's Day

Address: Barnard Castle, DL12 8NP

Hotels near The Bowes Museum


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