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John Bowes | Durham Freemasons

On Monday 27 th February Alan Farrar, as Chairman and on the instruction of the Premises Committee of Barnard Castle Masonic Hall, presented to Dr Jane Whittaker, Collections Manager at the Bowes Museum, a framed copy of a lithograph print of John Bowes, the Museum’s founder.

Produced by local photographer David Williams from the print displayed in Barnard Castle’s Masonic Hall in Newgate and which had been ‘borrowed’ by the Museum for a recent display at Glamis Castle; it represents Bowes in later life. Amongst his many other titles, John Bowes had been Durham’s “Provincial Grand Master who never was,” having been appointed in 1845 but never invested! He was also a founder member of the Barnard Lodge of Freemasons in 1868 and made a very generous donation of £100 towards the total cost of £720 for building the Masonic Hall. The builder of both the Museum and the Masonic Hall was Joseph Kyle, whose name is commemorated by “Kyle’s Yard,” a housing development in the town.

Accompanying Alan and Jane is Ian Kirkbride, a prominent member of the Strathmore Lodge, who facilitated the arrangements for the presentation of the gift from the Freemasons to the Museum.

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