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Cragside, the country retreat of Lord Armstrong, built on a bare and rugged hillside above Rothbury. It became one of the most modern and surprising houses for its time in the country. In the 1880's, the house had hot and cold running water, central heating, fire alarms, telephones, a Turkish bath suite and a passenger lift - but most remarkable of all - it was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. No wonder it was described as 'The Palace of a Modern Magician' and even Royalty came to stay! As the house still contains its original contents, you can step back into late Victorian times and see how far ahead of its time it was.
Around the house is one of Europe's largest rock gardens, which tumbles down the valley towards the Debdon Burn. In the valley bottom you will find the tallest Douglas Fir in England. Across the valley, hidden amongst the trees is the clock tower. This clock not only struck the hours, but also used to chime the starting, finishing and meal times of the estate workers. It can still be heard across the estate. Seven million trees and bushes were planted to cover the bare hillside and create the wooded estate you can explore today. Over 30 miles of footpaths and lakeside walks lead you through the woods to the estate's secret hide-aways. Children too, will love trying to find their way around Nelly's Labyrinth and playing on the slides, swings and tunnels in the Adventure Play Area.
Cragside is a National Trust property.
Location: Entrance 1 mile North of Rothbury on the B6342 (Rothbury - Alnwick road)
15 miles North West of Morpeth, 13 miles South West of Alnwick. Telephone: (01669) 620150.
A Visitors Book is available if you would like to make any comments or requests.
The following pages were designed by MIRROR IMAGE. All photographs taken by Ray Urwin©.
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