This is the Butler’s Room at Cragside in Northumberland. Cragside is one of the many mansions built in the 19th century by the nouveau very rich who made their money out of trade and manufacturing, be it matches or sugar or guano. In this case it was engineering, starting with hydraulic cranes and ending with shipyards that built battleships. These Victorian entrepreneurs often wanted idiosyncratic houses like Tyntesfield or Wightwick or this one in Rothbury with its rambling appearance all towers and half-timbering. Inside was every mod con, from water-powered lift to dish-washer and soda-stream. Armstrong was nothing if not inventive! On the right, half way along the wall you can see the soda-stream machine with its gas cylinder underneath. By the window are the chests for storing the family silver under lock and key: old technology in this case.
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