Barnard Castle is the main market town of Teesdale in County Durham and the largest town. In the middle of the town is the ‘Butter Market’ in the photo above, which acts as a focal point along with the wide expanse of Galgate running the length of the town. There’s plenty of shopping opportunities and the antique shops, pubs and cafés provide a charming shopping experience. Locally produced food can be found at the monthly farmers’ market which is held on ‘the cobbles’ in the Market Place.
The Castle the town is named after is still a very impressive structure, now in ruins overlooking the river.
The origin is from Conquest era and the murder of Bishop Walcher, first Norman Bishop of Durham. with further rebellion in 1095 caused the king William II to break up the Earldom of Northumberland into smaller baronies. The Lordship of Gainford was given to Guy de Balliol, who strengthened the fortification at its current site, now managed by English Heritage.
The town is much more than just the castle of course with interesting places to visit both in the town itself and in the area surrounding, so well worth a day out in itself. Notable is the Bowes Museum, a huge French Chateau of a place with a wonderful collection of Art and artefacts – see more on our Bowes Museum page.
Useful links to visitor attractions in and near Barnard Castle
- Barnard Castle – managed by English Heritage
- Bowes Museum – amazing French chateau built purely to house the Bowes family collections
- Eggleston Hall – the Coach House and walled gardens are open though the house (used for TV’s ‘Ladette to Lady’) is private
- Raby Castle – is a must visit to the area and the home of Lord Barnard – see more on the Castles of Northumbria page
- Rokeby Park – privately owned Palladian mansion open a few days each week
- Witham Arts Centre – newly refurbished with an active events schedule
Shops in Barnard Castle
The Farmers’ Market takes place on the first Saturday of each month
and always worth a trip to look out for some very special locally produced meat, vegetables, bread and chutneys. There’s usually some great food cooking as well, so makes for a fun day out.
- Morrisons Supermarket, Galgate
- Maxwells DIY, Galgate
- The Moody Baker, Horsemarket
- Cross Lanes Organics, Cross Lanes
- Zara Countrywear, Market Place
- David Harper Antiques, The Bank
- Sampson Antiques, The Bank
- Wilkinson, Fishing Tackle, Horsemarket
- Niche Living, Galgate
- My Generation, Arts & Crafts, Market Place
- Banks and Post Office