Repainting the house

The house from the rock garden, covered in scaffolding

On Monday 14 May scaffolding will be in place for at least 12 weeks to assist in the painting of the exterior of the house. You may experience some disruptions if you plan to visit the house and surrounding area.

Cragside House is the country house masterpiece of Victorian architect Richard Norman Shaw, and is built in his ‘Old English’ style which he perfected in the late 19th century.

We’re painting this very special building to look exactly the same as how Lord and Lady Armstrong and Shaw would have known it.

What has changed is the way in which this amazing and complex building is painted today. Lord Armstrong would be delighted with the engineering and technology involved in the modern painting process, from the well-engineered scaffold design to the use of hydraulic lifting platforms to give safe access to all parts of the building.

For the decorators, gone are the dangerous lead based paints and the very long ladders precariously placed on an uneven rocky footing. However, somethings remain the same, and the pot of paint and paint bush have not been superseded yet!

The external painting of the house is categorised in conservation terms as ‘planned cyclical maintenance.’ This sounds very dull, however this well planned routine work limits the deterioration of the building to ensure it always looks its best.

The painting keeps the fabric of the building in good order and retains the character of the place through the original intended paint colours too.

Watching the decorators at work you are witnessing conservation in action to ensure the house continues to have a future for everyone to see again and again.

Whilst this work is being carried out, there will be some disruptions to access to the house, rock garden and Still Room catering outlet.