Women and Power at Cragside

One of the innovators from Newcastle University works on a project

Home to pioneering industrialist and inventor Lord Armstrong and his wife Lady Margaret Armstrong, Cragside is a feat of Victorian engineering. With the house and landscape designed and created to harness the power of nature, it became the first home in the world to by lit by hydroelectricity. In 2018, which marks 100 years of women's suffrage, this engineering masterpiece becomes the backdrop for the stories and ideas of past, present and future female innovators with two brand new exhibitions

Women of industry: Industrial innovation?


In 1847, before Cragside was built, the Elswick works were established for the production of Armstrong’s hydraulic cranes. This modest stretch of the River Tyne soon became the epicentre of North East industry, expanding into shipbuilding, armament and locomotive production.


From 21 April, explore women's contribution to industry over the past 100 years


Women of industry: Industrial innovation? will explore the changing role of women in industry using the Elswick work factories as a backdrop, around the time of major societal shift; the First World War and the passing of law granting some women the right to vote.

Using sight and sound, this immersive experience will unveil what life was like as a female worker in industry, exploring personal reflections and uncovering what opportunities and challenges women faced in day-to-day working life.

Switched on! Shining a light on female innovation


From 23 June, International Women in Engineering Day, discover Cragside in an extraordinary light


Switched on! Shining a light on female innovation, an exhibition in partnership with Newcastle University, will present a vision of Cragside for the future by talented local innovators.


The exhibition explores ideas that challenge the limits of modern invention, whilst showcasing the creativity of women in the science, art, history and architecture sectors.

With females making up only 11% of the engineering workforce*, Switched on! promotes the idea that the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) sectors are for everyone.

*data from 2017 surveys carried out by the Women’s Engineering Society


Women of industry: Industrial innovation?  launches Saturday 21 April, and Switched on! Shining a light on female innovation launches Saturday 23 June 2018

" ‘However high we climb in the pursuit of knowledge we shall still see heights above us, and the more we extend our view, the more conscious we shall be of the immensity which lies beyond’."
- Lord William Armstrong