Saturday Snapshot

My photos this week are a few of Cragside in Northumberland, now owned by the National Trust. It was built in 1863, with further extensions over the next 15 or so years, by William Armstrong, who later became Lord Armstrong. Armstrong was a remarkable man – a scientist, an innovator and a successful industrialist.

We visited it last year. Here is the view of the house approaching from the public car park:

and the view from the gardens:

It has to be one of my favourite National Trust properties and it’s a very popular house with everyone else too – the place was packed when we were there last April. There is so much to see inside the house, too much for one post. The house was very modern for its times, with all the latest and advanced technical devices of the day.

One of my favourite rooms is the Library, with its  stained glass windows, comfy chairs, leather sofas and the latest lighting available. This was the first room in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity.

The light suspended from the ceiling has four bulbs within the ornate and fringed light shade. I tried very hard to get a photo without any of the other visitors, but gave up when there was just one person looking out of the window – anyway he gives scale to the room.

There are four more bulbs around the room, place in globes, sitting on vases:

The books are in oak bookcases around the room:

Note the library steps at the left-hand side of the photo.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

At a later date I might post more photos – of the kitchen with its dishwasher, the lovely dining room with its William Morris stained glass windows and of the amazing Gallery, with its collection of paintings and sculptures. As for the Drawing Room, this was not to my taste at all with its huge marble chimney piece.

See more Saturday Snapshots on Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

26 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot

  1. Wow. I’ve seen Cragside on various TV documentaries and always fancied seeing it in person – one day hopefully. Lovely to see these pics in the meantime.


  2. What a wonderful place. I’ll bet one could spend hours at a house like this and still not see everything. I look forward to more photos, Margaret.


  3. Margaret – Oh, how lovely! I’d heard of Cragside, but never seen ‘photos of it. This is absolutely gorgeous. I hope I’ll get a chance to visit at some point.


    1. Eugenia, the paintings in the Library are a mixture of landscapes and family portraits (not shown in my photo). Those on the fireplace wall are by local artists, except for the ‘Italian Girl with Doves’ by Raphael Sorbi.

      The large painting directly over the fireplace is by Thomas Hemy and it shows Armstrong’s engineering works -‘Elswick Works on the Tyne’. The other seascape is by Thomas’s brother Bernard Hemy, ‘Sailing Ship Towed by a Tug’, another Tyne scene.

      The third painting on that wall is ‘A Moorland Scene, with Rocky Outcrop’ by John Turnbull Dixon a local amateur painter.


      1. Thank you. Very interesting – your pix and explanations are almost as good as an actual walk-through. The Girl with Doves is my favorite of those I can see.


  4. That’s really beautiful. I love the warm feel of the interior — and looking at the exterior, I’m glad I don’t have to wash the windows!


  5. I hope you do post more photos of this lovely building at a later date. I thought it was quite impressive in the first photo, but that second shot from the gardens is spectacular!


  6. The house is so beautiful! From the photos it looks very grand. I’m sure the library would be my favorite too. I look forward to seeing more photos in the future!


  7. A lovely place that I would love to visit one day. The library is a dream. I love the light that invites one to settle with a good book. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures Margaret.


  8. Fantastic architecture, in the original meaning of the word. It’s like a fairy tale castle. I would so love to tour the grounds and the mansion. Of course we all love the library. I can imagine sitting in the well-lighted library on a dreary winter day, snug by the fire, reading some old leather-bound book. Dream on, Barbara!


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