What we still need to do
Renewable energy generation has been a part of our places for many years...but we need your help to bring these projects back to life.
Just one of the important projects you can help support with a gift to our 'For ever, for everyone' 2011 appeal is to reinstate Cragside's famous hydro-electricity power.
Described in 1880 as 'a palace of the modern magician', Cragside House was the first building in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity – the creation of its ingenious owner, Lord Armstrong. 130 years on, we plan to bring the amazing story of hydro-power back to Cragside.
The installation of an Archimedes screw turbine will allow us to harness the power of water captured in one of Armstrong's magnificent lakes in order to provide electric power to Cragside. We are expecting this to reduce the estate’s energy costs by £15,000.
The clever and sympathetic use of up-to-date technology in a historic setting will make Cragside more self-sustaining and energy efficient, enabling this stunning house to be enjoyed for ever, by everyone.
Lord Armstrong strongly advocated the use of renewable energy, stating that coal 'was used wastefully and extravagantly in all its application'. His belief, and foresight, are even more relevant today.
Castle Drogo, Devon
During the first part of the 20th century, Castle Drogo had no mains electricity.
A high quality hydro-electricity generation system was installed in the 1920s and operated until 1994, even after the castle was connected to the National Grid in the late 1950s.
The hydro-electricity system is situated in a particularly beautiful part of the River Teign Valley, next to the famous deer park wall, and this Lutyens designed Turbine House is now listed Grade II.
The turbine is in a severe state of disrepair but could be restored by Gilbert Gilkes & Co. the original manufacturer, to make it fully operational again. Once restored it has the potential to supply the equivalent of all the onsite electricity needs and even produce surplus for export to the National Grid. You can help us give exciting restoration projects like this the go ahead by donating to the 'For ever, for everyone' 2011 appeal.
Bateman's, East Sussex
In 1902 when Rudyard Kipling moved to Bateman's he installed a water turbine also made by Gilbert Gilkes & Co. in the water mill.
The turbine drove a generator which provided enough current to light ten 60 watt bulbs in the house for four hours every evening. In 1968, the Royal Engineers rebuilt the turbine generator, but since then it has fallen into disrepair and is in need of another overhaul so that we can bring it back to life. The aim is to generate enough power for the water mill building, so that school parties and visitors can experience this incredible piece of renewable energy engineering in all its fully working glory. Your gift to 'For ever, for everyone' 2011 appeal will help to make it happen.