In September 2018, Steph and I enjoyed a week long break in Cornwall, and visited sixteen National Trust and English Heritage properties scattered over the county. And a couple in Devon on the journey south and return.
On our last full day, we made the 58 mile journey from our holiday cottage near the Lizard in the far south to Tintagel on the north coast to visit Tintagel Castle, of King Arthur fame, and a National Trust property in the center of the village: Tintagel Old Post Office.
Tintagel Old Post Office was built over 600 years ago. Originally a farmhouse, it has had many functions over the centuries, and became the village post office in 1870. Besides the five rooms to explore on two floors, Tintagel Old Post Office has a delightful cottage garden.
A complete album of photos of the post office and garden can be viewed here.
Then we headed down some very narrow lanes to the cliffs for a picnic overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Next stop: Newfoundland!
We also took the opportunity to explore the Church of St Materianna, and enjoy the view back to the village itself.
I have included photos of this side trip in the same photo album referred to above.
Cragside, the house built by William, 1st Baron Armstrong between 1869 and 1882, is remarkable. It was the first house in the world to be lit (and powered throughout) by hydroelectricity. Armstrong was a wealthy engineer and industrialist, eminent scientist, inventor and philanthropist.
Surrounded by moorland and farmland, Cragside stands in the heart of Northumberland near the village of Rothbury (map). It has been owned by the National Trust since 1977. It was one of the first National Trust properties that Steph and I visited after becoming members in 2011.
Cragside was a joint creation between William Armstrong, his wife Margaret (née Ramshaw), and architect Richard Norman Shaw.
Armstrong constructed a dam and lake high on the moorland above Cragside to provide the water to generate electricity. The original turbine house still stands in the grounds.
There are many magnificent treasures to view inside the house. However, I don’t have any images of Cragside’s interior. I guess in 2011 the National Trust’s policy on photography was not as liberal as it is today (as my readers will have realised from the many images I have posted about our National Trust visits). Or perhaps, there were copyright issues that did not permit photography inside the house.
What is also remarkable about Cragside is the garden that the Armstrongs carved out of the hillside, planting many trees and exotic plants obtained from all over the world. In particular there are outstanding stands of tall Wellingtonias. Of course they never lived to see their garden in its mature magnificence. Below the house, is a large and impressive rockery, and a bridge takes you across the valley bottom, and a path towards the formal garden, some distance from the house. This garden was designed on an open south-facing slope overlooking Rothbury and the farmland beyond.
Once the Covid-19 crisis has passed, and we have finally made the move north to Newcastle upon Tyne (assuming we can sell our house in Worcestershire), Steph and I look forward to re-visiting Cragside. And then, with any luck, I can add to my collection of photos with some interior images.
23 October 2020
Well, Steph and I moved to the northeast three weeks ago and, having already settled on a house to purchase (we are currently renting a small house towards the coast on the northeast side of Newcastle), we no longer have to spend time viewing prospective houses. More time for getting out and about.
So yesterday, with the weather boding fair (but with gales forecast for the next few days) we headed to Cragside and enjoy the autumn colors before the coming gales rip all the leaves from the trees.
Cragside is magnificent. The staff were doing a great job yesterday, checking everyone on to the site with our timed tickets (at 10:30 in our case), at the café for a welcome Americano, then around the house after we had toured the Rock and Formal Gardens.
We hadn’t expected the house to be open, and although fewer rooms were open yesterday than in 2011 when we first visited, National Trust policy regarding photography inside its properties has changed, and I was able to capture many of the details I was denied nine years back.
Here is a selection of garden photos, followed by some of the house interior. A full set of photos from yesterday and 2001 can be viewed here.
Looking across the moors at Cragside
The rooms that were open included the billiard room, the main hall, gallery, the library, study, and the kitchen.
Then we decided to drive the six miles around the estate on the Carriage Drive. Check the settings on the video for video quality and speed (it’s possible to speed up and slow down).