The House at Cragside

Cragside, the dream home of Lord and Lady Armstrong – a Victorian house that was light-years ahead of its time. The home of hydroelectricity, Lord and Lady Armstrong used their wealth, art and science in an ingenious way. What began as a modest country retreat quickly became one of the most technologically advanced homes of the Victorian age.

Lots to Explore

There are lots of things to see and do at Cragside House, which is now open from 11am-5pm everyday. Discover the first home to be lit by hydroelecticity - the place where modern living began. Check out the amazing gadgets and modern conveniences as well as an extensive arts and crafts collection. 

Victorian baking

Imagine walking into Cragside to be greeted by the delicious smell of home baking... Well, you can! Every Wednesday and Friday (subject to volunteer availability) join us in the house as our volunteer bakers light the restored range and cook up some delicious Victorian treats, filling the house with the sounds and smells of a real Victorian kitchen.  
 

Conservation in action

Every week day (subject to volunteer availability) you can also catch our conservation volunteers hard at work. With a collection as extensive as the one at Cragside, they sure do have their work cut out for them! Come along and see how they delicately clean and care for the items in our collection. 

The Bright Sparks that lit Cragside

Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Lord Armstrong’s genius was to spark an inventive idea and evolve it with the very best talent and design available to him. His vision was to utilise the natural forces of water in the surrounding landscape to generate electricity to light his dynamic new home.  This exhibition will explore how he and his fellow ‘bright sparks’ made Cragside at the cutting edge of electrical lighting. It is a journey through time to meet the inventive people and suppliers of equipment that made Lord Armstrong’s vision reality and Cragside a wonder of electrical engineering and design. Some names such as Sir William Siemens and Sir Joseph Swan will be familiar, others like Colonel Rookes Crompton and Professor James Thomson less so, however they are all part of the magical Cragside electrical story.

Our collection

As the house grew, Armstrong’s collection grew with it. His enthusiasm for collecting included contemporary British art, furniture, ceramics & natural history as well as items of scientific curiosity and experimentation. Take a peak at our collection highlights