Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cragside and William Armstrong

We travelled up to the Northumberland area to stay for a few days and one day we went to Cragside, built by William Armstrong. It's worth while clicking on the link to read about this person and his inventions, particularly the hydrolic accumulator and the use of hydro electricity.

Cragside has a wonderful location and there are quite a few walks to do in the grounds down to the various dams, waterwheels and pumps he installed on the property to provide electricity to the house.

The house is quite fascinating to walk through. It's not as grand as Biltmore but it's got some really interesting stuff. Here for example are the first lamps powered by hydo electricity. Interestingly, when the light was turned off, it was more efficient to keep the electricity flowing so it was diverted into a simple resistor instead of the light bulb.

In the kitchen. This place would have required a substantial staff.

A bath tub. This was one of the first houses that included many of the newer technologies of the time that we take for granted today.

The rack beside the entrance for your top hats.

I liked these glass panes.

An interesting shape for a bedroom.

There are the usual family portraits, paintings and object d'art. I was particularly taken by this sculpture where somehow the artist managed to produce a gauze effect. Amazing stuff.

The gallery.

We wandered into the room with the billiard table and the guide for the room invited us to play so I picked up a cue and had a go. After a few tries, I managed to sink a few balls.

An absolutely amazing lounge room. Note the huge fireplace at the other end.
A seat within the fireplace.

And finally some stained glass.

I took approximately 150 photos at this place and there is a lot to see both in the house and in the grounds. This place is well worth visiting.

At over thirteen pounds, the entrance fee is not inexpensive though compared to Biltmore, it is cheap. We should have investigated a membership of the National Trust for Americans available through the Royal Oak Foundation. If you plan to go to just a few National Trust sites, buy their memebership and and you will recoup the costs.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, since when do they allow photos in National Trust houses? I haven't been to one for the last three years but before that it always was "no photos, buy the brochure"...
    You've got some stunning photos there. We saw a documentary on this place on iBBC not long ago and it was fascinating, but of course your photos are far more personal which is nice. Another one I really want to see, and so does even Sean!