Bowes shown within County Durham
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||County Durham|
|Ceremonial county||County Durham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||BARNARD CASTLE|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
|UK Parliament||Bishop Auckland|
Geography and administration
Bowes lies within the historic county boundaries of the North Riding of Yorkshire, but along with the rest of the former Startforth Rural District it was incorporated into the non-metropolitan county of Durham for administrative purposes on 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972.
The Roman name for Bowes was Lavatris or Lavatrae. A Roman army station was located there.
The only pub in the village, The Ancient Unicorn, is reputed to be haunted by several ghosts. This 17th-century coaching inn famously played host to Charles Dickens as he toured the local area. Dickens found inspiration in the village academy, which he immortalised as Dotheboys Hall in Nicholas Nickleby; and the graves of two of the people who inspired characters portrayed by the great author remain in Bowes churchyard to this day.
Until the 1960s, the village was served by Bowes railway station.
Bowes has a single primary school at the centre of the village, Bowes Hutchinson's C of E (Aided) Primary School.
- The Ancient Unicorn
- William Shaw (1782-1850) was the headmaster of The Bowes Academy, and is said to have been the model for Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby. And George Ashton Taylor, who died in 1822 aged 19 apparently inspired Dickens to create the character of Smike in the same novel.
- Bowes Hutchinson's C of E (Aided) Primary School website
- Robert Hole, ‘Kipling, Thomas (bap. 1745, d. 1822)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 2 May 2011
- T. F. Henderson, ‘Bailey, John (1750–1819)’, rev. H. K. Higton, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 2 May 2011
- Miles Taylor, ‘Cobden, Richard (1804–1865)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2009 accessed 2 May 2011
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