Thursday, May 15, 2008

15th May 2008: Cragside second visit

We went first to Alnwick, stopping on the bridge on the way in to photograph the lion with the starched tail on the bridge in front of the castle,then into the town centre to find a photo print machine and ran off the chosen image to send to friends and family.
It was market day and I couldn't resist a shot of the market cross and the hall behind.
Cragside was quieter today with the weather being dull and it is less busy anyway on weekdays.
We enjoyed a splendid lamb casserole and dumpling lunch before taking the shuttle bus to the house.
Photography isn't permitted inside properties owned by the National Trust, but in any case the Rock garden in front of the house is quite amazing and stretched down the side of the crag for several hundred feet to a bridge and stream below with cataracts

This image is a vertical panorama from four images to try and give you an impression of the scale and majesty of the garden: what is now a very gentle stream was once apparently a magificient roaring cataract in the time when the house was lit by hydro-electric power from a turbine, it must have been very impressive!

The house is an immense sprawl, with an interior which can be truly said to encompass everything from exquisite to vulgar in taste, where money was no object at all!
Here and there there are some oddly Gothic items, such as gargoyles that sprout from the roof and walls in the oddest places, and in the Drawing room above a marble fireplace is one of the worst examples of kitsch I have ever seen, it's an Italianesque wall of carved cupids and marbles done for the visit of the then Prince of Wales (Victoria's son!) it is so over the top the designer himself was said not to like it: The Prince of Wales opinion is not recorded!

We were pretty tired when we got back and rested till tea time, (Bacon Butties for once!!)
After which I took the Fuji and drove down into Seahouses,, where I met Big Jim and Little Jim from Rochdale (both Canon DSLR owners poor devils, and I showed them the best angles on the harbour and incidentally got this one myself

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