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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cragside House from the Rock Garden - Northumberland - May 2007

This picture entitled "Cragside House from the Rock Garden - Northumberland - May 2007" was uploaded by GeordieMac Pics on 19 May 2007. The description of this place by wikipedia is as follows:
Cragside is a country house near Rothbury in Northumberland, England. It was the first house in the world to be lit using hydroelectric power. Built into a rocky hillside above a 4 km² forest garden, it was the country home of Lord Armstrong and has been in the care of the National Trust since 1977.

Cragside, named after Cragend Hill above the house, was built in 1863 as a modest, two-storey country lodge, but was subsequently extended to designs by Norman Shaw, transforming it into an elaborate mansion in the Free Tudor style. At one point, the building included an astronomical observatory and a scientific laboratory.

In 1868, a hydraulic engine was installed, with water being used to power labour-saving machines such as laundry equipment, a rotisserie and a hydraulic lift. In 1870, water from one of the estate's lakes was used to drive a Siemens dynamo in what was probably the world's first hydroelectric power station. The resultant electricity was used to power an arc lamp installed in the Gallery in 1878. The arc lamp was replaced in 1880 by Joseph Swan's incandescent lamps in what Swan considered 'the first proper installation' of electric lighting.

The generators, which also provided power for the farm buildings on the estate, were constantly extended and improved to match the increasing electrical demand in the house.

The house is surrounded by one of Europe's largest rock gardens, a large number of rhododendrons, and a large collection of mostly coniferous trees, among which one Douglas-fir is the tallest tree in England, at 59 m tall.

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