The Market Town of Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle is an historic market town which takes its name from the castle beneath which it grew. The castle, an English Heritage property, was named after its 12thC founder, Bernard de Balliol, and was later developed by Richard III whose boar emblem is carved above a window in the inner ward.
A haven for treasure seekers, the town’s many antique shops provide a charming shopping experience. And for food lovers, locally produced food can be found at the monthly farmers’ market which is held on ‘the cobbles’ in the Market Place.
In the centre of the town stands an octagonal building, the ‘Butter Market’, built by Thomas Breaks and given to the town in 1747. Two bullet holes in the weather vane are reputed to be the result of a shooting competition between a volunteer soldier and a local gamekeeper in 1804.
Nearby, The Bowes Museum is an impressive and charming French-style chateau, built in the late 19thC by John Bowes, and surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. The museum houses a collection of European fine and decorative arts and is regarded as one of the most significant museums outside London.