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Cragside

Cragside was originally a small villa built in 1863-6 by an unidentified architect; in 1869-84 it was developed and considerably enlarged by Richard Norman Shaw for Sir William (later Lord) Armstrong, the Newcastle inventor and armaments manufacturer. At Cragside, Armstrong put into use the engineering skills which had made his fortune: hydraulic machinery supplied water to the house, powered the lifts, and rotated the spit in the kitchen. An internal telephone system provided room-to-room communications. Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electric power, using man-made lakes and underground piping. The exterior of Cragside is a dramatic blend of different architectural styles and elements, including gables, crenellations, Tudor chimneystacks, Gothic arches and mullioned windows. It boasts some of the finest surviving Victorian interiors in the country, featuring the designs of William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Philip Webb and Burne-Jones.

Visitor Information

Address:
Rothbury,
Morpeth,
Northumberland,
England,
NE65 7PX

Telephone: 01669 620333

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

Accredited Museum

Cragside, Northumberland (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 17,915 items online

Cragside was the home of an extraordinary man, William George Armstrong (1810-1900). He was a scientist and technical innovator of genius; one of the most successful industrialists of his generation. Like many wealthy Victorians, Armstrong spent his money on his family, his homes and his collections. Cragside began as a modest holiday retreat in the seclusion of Northumberland, but as his wealth grew and the local area became connected to Newcastle by the railway, he began building a magnificent mansion, designed by Norman Shaw. As the house grew, Armstrong’s collection grew with it. His enthusiasm for collecting included contemporary British art, furniture, ceramics and natural history. The house also has items which reflect his scientific curiosity and experimentation. Overall Cragside is a place of wonder, excitement and curiosity. The first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity is once again powered by water, 150 years after the pioneering Lord Armstrong built his visionary Northumberland home.

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