On arriving at Cragside we did the Carriage Drive in the car, it is six miles long, The road winds around the hill past lots of tall trees and rhododendrons.

We stopped for a while to have a look at Nelly’s Moss Lake. William Armstrong created the lake in order to have water to provide hydropower electricity for his house and estate.

After parking the car we set off on foot, we didn’t know where to go first!

We were hungry (as usual) so started off with The Tea Rooms,

With tummies full we set off to explore. The big house was built into the rocks between 1869 and 1882. The house was equipped with all sorts of hydraulic machines including the lifts, and the lights all powered by hydroelectricity.

There is an iron bridge which spans the Debdon stream. We are standing on it in this photograph.

Here is the iron bridge photographed from below.

There are a few bridges in the woodland crossing the stream that runs down from the lake.

This bridge is on the way to the Power House which is at the bottom of a gorge, there were holes in the walls just the right size for bears to sit safely in for photographs.

It was quite a long way to the Power House.

We passed a big wheel which had been used as a water powered machine in farming.

We finally reached the Power House. Inside there was a turbine turning a dynamo that created the electricity for the house using water. Here we are looking at the dynamo.

It was quite a climb back up to the house to see the inside.

I had to stop and wait a little while for Nye who has shorter legs than me.

The food being prepared in the kitchen looked quite tasty, until the human pointed out that it was all plastic!

In the kitchen there was an absolutely huge pestle and mortar; initially we thought it was a washing dolly!

Down in the basement of the house there was an amazing spa, complete with a very deep plunge pool.

The shower was really impressive too. I was glad no one turned it on while I was stood under it though!

Upstairs we said ‘Hello’ to a one eared bear who was resting on a little bed.

In one area of the house there was a very interesting room showing Lord Armstrong’s experiments with electricity. This is the wine glass experiment.

Armstrong placed a cotton thread between two wine glasses filled with pure water. After applying a high voltage of electricity a watery connection formed, and after a while the thread pulled into one glass just leaving the a rope of water.

We had a wonderful time at Cragside, a really fascinating place to visit.

For more information see

Horace the Alresford Bear 25/6/2022

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