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Bowes Museum – A Must Visit For Any Photographer

The Bowes Museum is a must-visit location for budding photographers armed with just about anything that captures a decent image…

Located in the heart of glorious Teesdale, the magnificent Bowes Museum was purpose built in the 19th century by John and Joséphine Bowes and has more anecdotes than even the most imaginative can dream of.

Bowes Museum

The museum was conceived within the imagination of entrepreneur John Bowes who, after making his way to Paris in 1847 and, meeting Parisian actress Joséphine Coffin-Chevallier, decided to expand on their interests in art, paintings, and textiles. The dream was to build a world-class museum back in John’s ancestral home of Teesdale; thus education local people while introducing them to fine arts and design techniques.

Bowes Museum

Against many odds, Joséphine laid the inaugural stone in 1869, reportedly saying “I lay the bottom stone, and you, Mr.Bowes, will lay the top stone”. Unfortunately, Josephine passed away some 5 years later which left John in a depressive state along with nearly 15,000 artifacts the couple had accumulated in preparation of the building being complete. John died 11 years after his wife and never witnessed the finished article.

Bowes Museum

Fortunately the project was given new legs driven by the Trustees and the Bowes Museum finally opened its doors to the public on 10th June 1892, attracting a staggering 63,000 visitors in its first 12 months.

Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum is now packed with internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts but the crowning glory is a 230 year-old English automated Silver Swan which although still works is currently being completely restored to its former glory.