Spark returns to attraction

Cragside, the National Trust property near Rothbury.
Cragside, the National Trust property near Rothbury.

Youngsters can switch on to science in a cracking addition to the National Trust’s Cragside.

A new interactive experience is being offered at the estate as Lord Armstrong’s Electrical Room opens its doors, bringing his spirit of invention back to life.

The room, which is tucked away, was one of the last to be built at the house near Rothbury in 1895, and it is where Armstrong would spend the later years of his life, exploring and photographing electrical discharges.

With his friend Professor Henry Stroud, he undertook research there into high tension electricity.

Now, with the help of Mdesign creative company, visitors can get a glimpse into what went on in the room.

Mdesign founder Philip Moore said: “The new presentation of the Electrical Room draws on the parallel evolution of Victorian magic and science.

“Many inventors and scientists were being called magicians and many magicians were using science to produce ever impossible illusions.

“Both sensational illusions and demonstrations of the most recent scientific developments were presented to the Victorian public with great theatre and showmanship. The Electrical Room captures this to tell the story of the scientific wizardry of Armstrong – the magician of the North.”

The Electrical Room is the second project in recent years to tell the story of hydroelectricity at Cragside following the installation of the Archimedes Screw in 2014, which allows the estate to again generate electricity through kinetic energy and water power.

Throughout the summer holiday the attraction will offer family activities. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside for details.