28 April, 2008

Barnard Castle – le chateau de la Tees.

Barnard castle is a County Durham market town, just on the wrong side of the Tees to cash in on James Heriot country and the Yorkshire Dales, but it’s almost as good. Its unique selling point is the Renascence style French chateau just outside called the Bowes Museum. It is quite amazing to find such a fine fine art museum in such a location, and the collection includes all sorts of items from a two headed calf to a silver swan, over 230 years old, that swims on a crystal pool then eats a silver fish. There are works by Canaletto and outstanding French furnishings and tapestries. Even the café is pretty good and greatly exceeded expectations. It’s well worth a visit.

The church has a fine Romanesque doorway on the south side although the entrance is under the North tower and there is an attractive market cross.

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