Engineering / Construction, Society , Power, Landscape / Sculpture, Architecture
Cragside is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Victorian Age and one of the most innovative houses in the world.
The setting is superb, high on a wild and craggy hillside. The architect, Norman Shaw, used the site skilfully and the house climbs the hill and appears to grow directly out of the rock. It is immensely picturesque, eclectic and irregular with towers, turrets and gables dotted about freely. Inside, the irregular facades are reflected in cosy and domestic rooms richly decorated in splendid Arts and Crafts style.
The owner was Lord Armstrong, the brilliant North Eastern inventor and industrialist and the house is awash with evidence of his ingenuity. He was a pioneer in the use of hydraulics. The lifts and the machinery in the kitchens are ingeniously driven by water power and Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electric power.