The billiard room at our destination today is just one of the delightful rooms in this Northumberland Arts & Crafts house near Rothbury – Cragside. It is a huge house vastly extended from the original, which was intended as a holiday or weekend house for William Armstrong, a renowned Victorian industrialist and innovator. With the coming of the railways to Northumberland, it was decided to extend the house for full-time living and the then unknown architect, Richard Norman Shaw was employed for 15 years overseeing the building works. The result is rather a haphazard sort of house with lots of features!
I took this photo from the heavily wooded garden and luckily it wasn’t actually raining at this point as it did later. We were too late for the Rhododendrons but there were still some colourful flowers on the banks and there was always the River Debdon winding its way through, creating miniature falls.
You can click the individual photos to see them more clearly.
We had some refreshments in the courtyard cafe and then walked through to the front of the house. Here you can probably see the additions more clearly.
Inside it is quite busy in the Victorian style but there are some of the first electric light fittings (Joseph Swan provided the house with his first light bulbs). There is also some amazing stained glass designed by William Morris, Ford Madox Brown, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Philip Webb and Edward Burne-Jones.
Here are some photos of our favourite bits – again please click individually.
We thoroughly enjoyed the house and had a short drive to our next campsite – the Bellingham C&CC site which was typical Club site – well run and free wifi but a bit to regulated for us.
Pity the weather changed today to rain and it’s likely to last for a few days yet…