Cragside, Northumberland

I’m still getting round to posting pictures of the places we visited in October!

This is Cragside, Northumberland, from the path leading from the car park.

Cragside, view from car park

Cragside was built for the Tyneside shipbuilding magnate William Armstrong. The house’s main claim to fame is that it was the first in the world to be powered by hydroelectricity (from a system specially constructed for the purpose.) Later – sometime in the 1930s I think – the house was connected to the National Grid.

This is a stitch of two photos taken from the terrace on the other side of the house from the photo above.

Cragside, Northumberland

This is the house from the rock garden. It’s a very impressive building.

Cragside from below

One of the delights of the site is the gardens with several bridges over the burn, the most striking of which is the metal bridge.

Cragside Gardens + Metal Bridge
Metal Bridge, Cragside

Two rustic bridges can be seen from the metal one and there is a smaller burn hard by the house.

Two more Bridges, Cragside, Northumberland
Stream Beside Cragside

Inside, the most impressive feature is the massive marble fireplace in the main reception room. So big is this it had to be built directly onto the bedrock of the hillside to give it sufficient foundation.

Massive Marble Fireplace, Cragside, Northumberland

There is some nice tiling on the walls, here seen below an engraving/drawing of the house.

Wall Tiling, Cragside, Northumberland

We took a long walk down to the power house. The keeper of the power house used to sit down there waiting for a phone call from the main house to turn on the water. There is a brilliant model of the hydroelectric system – you pull up a lever to allow the water to flow onto the turbine blades (all contained behind glass) and you can see the increase in power with the flow, with lights on a panel coming on and getting brighter to simulate the lights in the house. If only my first year pupils could see that!

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