Built by the Industrialist Lord William Armstrong as a country retreat, it began as a modest two storey house but was extended to become the grand house it is today. Cragside is renowned as being the first house to be powered by hydroelectricity in the country and the system was designed by Armstrong himself using an Archimedes screw. It was used to light the house and power the many labour saving devices around the house which he also designed for the benefit of his staff and can be seen as you walk through the 90+ rooms. The Archimedes screw has recently been reinstated and is once again in use, providing electrical power to the house. Cragside is also surrounded by beautiful grounds which you can walk around on the multitude of paths leading to the lakes and seating areas where you can relax and enjoy the day. Lord Armstrong also owned Bamburgh Castle which he restored from an almost ruin to the stunning structure we see today.
Owned by the Grey family since 1319, Howick Hall has literally risen from the ashes after the whole of the interior was destroyed by fire in 1926. It was then rebuilt in 1928 and is currently occupied by Charles Baring, 2nd Baron Howick of Glendale. It is also, of course, the “home” of Earl Grey tea as the blend was originally produced for the Grey family.
Built between 1768 and 1766, Paxton House houses its own gallery, which has been carefully restored, and is a partner to the National Galleries of Scotland. Paxton is well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area around Berwick which is only 20 minutes away from us.