History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The Silver Swan, an automaton made in 1773
John Bowes was the illegitimate son of the 10th Earl of Strathmore and Mary Millner, who worked on the Earl's Teesdale estate. Millner lived with the Earl as hisfor years, though they only married just a few hours before his death. The Earl hoped that by marrying John's mother he could pass his title and estates to the young Bowes. A lengthy legal squabble, however, settled the Earl's Durham estates on John but gave his title to his Scottish relations.
Collections full three floors of this superb building, with paintings by such luminaries as Canaletto and Goya, Sevres fine porcelain, or intricate marquetry by Charles Boule, everything is of the highest quality. Thee are galleries devoted to Fashion and Textiles, including period costume. Some of the clothing on show belonged to the Empress Eugenie of France. Perhaps the most popular single item is the Silver Swan, an automaton created in 1773 by John Merlin. The Bowes saw the Silver Swan at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. So did American author Mark Twain, who described it in his novel The Innocents abroad. The Bowes purchased the Silver Swan for £200 in 1872. The Swan still works, and is 'played' once a day at 2pm.
About Bowes Museum
Address: Newgate, Barnard Castle, County Durham, England, DL12 8NP
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Free on-site parking off the Newgate road entrance. Well signposted from all surrounding roads.
Website: Bowes Museum
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
St Mary's Church, Barnard Castle - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
Barnard Castle - 0.4 miles (Castle)
Egglestone Abbey - 0.8 miles (Abbey)
Rokeby Park - 2.1 miles (Historic House)
Bowes Castle - 4.3 miles (Castle)
Raby Castle - 5.6 miles (Castle)
Stanwick Iron Age Fort - 8.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Stanwick. St John's Church - 8.6 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Bowes Museum: