Purpose built as a museum in the 19th century by John and Josephine Bowes, the museum is a fantastice place to visit. You are free to roam around the 3 floors and photography is allowed but the use of flash is restricted.
The foundation stone was laid in 1869 and the project opened its doors to the public in 1892.
Between the years of 1862 and 1874 over 15,000 objects were purchased by the Bowes family. At every turn you can see important and precious works from all over Europe, and each piece has its own story to tell. However it is the 230 year-old Silver Swan that is the best-loved object in the museum. The Silver Swan is an English silver automaton, a unique attraction that was bought by the Bowes in 1872. The life size model is still in working order and is operated at the museum on a daily basis.
The following video is of the Silver Swan as mine was spoilt by inconsiderate people standing so that nobody else could see. The swan performs just once a day now and the performance last 30 seconds. When I inquired about the value of the swan the reply was one word........Priceless.