Streatlam Castle: Rediscover The Home Of John And Joséphine Bowes


25 November – 11 March 2018

On 29 March 1959 the remains of Streatlam Castle vanished in a series of huge explosions. The great mansion, a shadow of what it had once been, had become unsafe and the then owner invited the Territorial Army to use it for demolition practice. That exercise completed, only a pile of rubble remained to tell of the house and castle that had stood on the site for over 600 years, 500 of those in the ownership of the Bowes family. The home where John Bowes had been brought up, and where he had lived for much of his life, had effectively been obliterated. And yet... not every trace had been erased.

This exhibition will show how Streatlam looked in its heyday, bringing to life the style in which John Bowes, one of the richest men in England, lived. It will illustrate the appearance of the house, both outside and in, display some of its furnishing and contents, and rebuild an image of the home where John Bowes pursued his personal interests, where he entertained his many friends and where, in due course, he brought his adored French wife Joséphine. His were the classic passions of a Victorian gentleman, certainly, but one who was pretty out of the ordinary in many ways, and this exhibition will tell that tale.

Related Events


Streatlam Castle Gallery Talk

17 January, 2.15

Streatlam Castle Gallery Talk

Join guest curator Jonathan Peacock for an informal insight into the current exhibition Streatlam Castle: Rediscover the home of John and Joséphine Bowes.


Streatlam Castle Gallery Talk

6 February, 2.15

Streatlam Castle Gallery Talk

Join guest curator Jonathan Peacock for an informal insight into the current exhibition Streatlam Castle: Rediscover the home of John and Joséphine Bowes.


Turner’s Travel

9 Mar Time 10.00 – 4.30 Cost £35 Adults £33 Friends (inc morning refreshments)

Turner’s Travel

Turner’s early career was spent travelling the country, painting landscape views to be engraved and sold as illustrations to topographical books. Join artist Linda Birch to explore the effects of painting as Turner did, on pale grey blue paper, using pen as well as brushes. View one of Turner’s sketchbooks, currently on loan as part of the current Streatlam Castle exhibition.

Book Now

Book Now
Book Now

Medieval Mayhem

15 February 11.00 - 2.00 & 16 February, 11.00 – 4.00

Medieval Mayhem

Be inspired by the current Streatlam Castle exhibition to make your very own shield bearing your family Coat of Arms. A fun packed drop in session where you collage, draw and build your shield to take home. Children must be accompanied by a pass holder.


Streatlam Castle

16 February, Refreshments at 10.30, talk at 11:00 - 12.00, £12.00 Friends; £15.00 Guests

Streatlam Castle

Guest Curator, of Streatlam Castle: Rediscover the Home of John & Joséphine Bowes, Jonathan Peacock explores Streatlam Castle the home of the Bowes family, now long gone. Booking required.


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