|Population||471 (2011, including Gilmonby)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||BARNARD CASTLE|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
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 village church is dedicated to St Giles.
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 can be seen in Bowes churchyard to this day. 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 – they share the same initials. And George Ashton Taylor, who died in 1822 aged 19, apparently inspired Dickens to create the character of Smike in the same novel.
From 1861 to 1962, the village was served by Bowes railway station. Just to the north of the village at Stoney Keld, is the site of the former RAF Bowes Moor, a chemical warfare agent storage site between 1941 and 1947. The Bowes Loop of the Pennine Way goes through the site.ref>Dillon, Paddy (2017). The Pennine Way : from Edale to Kirk Yetholm (4 ed.). Cumbria: Cicerone. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-85284-906-1.</ref>
The village is also home to possibly the smallest former working men's club in the country. Now known as Bowes Social Club, it is run by volunteers and is often used as a venue to raise money for local events.
Bowes has a single primary school at the centre of the village, Bowes Hutchinson's C of E (Aided) Primary School.
- "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.56.
- The Ancient Unicorn
- "Tests at former mustard gas site". BBC News. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
- 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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