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Barnard & Bowes

This excursion starts slightly later at 9.45 am from Aycliffe as it is not too far to Barnard Castle where you should arrive around 10.15 am.

Barnard Castle is a market town that you perhaps think you know well, but did you know that the main road into ‘Barney’ is Galgate,  based on a road built by the Romans?  Or the stone castle was built in 1125 by Bernard de Balliol. This is how the town got its name (Bernard’s Castle)?

The Market Cross or ‘Butter Mart’ is the octagonal building built by Thomas Breaks and given to the Town in 1747. The Market Cross has had several uses since 1747. It has been used as a fire station, town hall, court house and ‘lock up’, the floor area was used for the selling of produce and dairy goods (so the name ‘Butter Mart’

Two bullet holes in the weather vane on top of the Market Cross are reputed to have been the result of a shooting competition between a volunteer soldier and a local gamekeeper in 1804.

You have approximately 2 hours to explore, have a look around the Wednesday Market, shop or have brunch or lunch before your visit to Bowes Museum.  The coach will pick you up at around 12.15 to take you to the Museum.   Museum entry, guided tour and afternoon tea are all included at no cost to you.

The Itinerary for the Museum is:

Arrival until 2.00 pm Free time to explore the Museum and Grounds, then

2.00 pm Watch the Silver Swan

2.05 pm Volunteer led guided tour from the Swan at 2.15pm

3.30 pm Afternoon tea in the Jubilee Room

Selection of Freshly Prepared Sandwiches

Local Farmhouse Sausages & Smokey Bacon in Puff Pastry

Selection of Mini Cakes

Miniature Fruit Scones with Strawberry Jam & Thick Organic Cream

Mad Hatter Tea & Fairtrade Coffee

Bowes Museum is a jewel in the heart of beautiful Teesdale.  The magnificent building stands proud in the historic market town of Barnard Castle housing internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts spanning five centuries.

One of its more well-known exhibits is the Silver Swan which dates from 1773 and was first recorded in 1774 as a crowd puller in the Mechanical Museum of James Cox, a London showman and dealer. It is much loved and over the last century has become the icon of The Bowes Museum.

The Museum has a wonderful story to tell. A guided tour of the museum is included in the excursion, so we have left the story for the tour guide to tell.

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