Landmark house lit by power of water

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A 150-year-OLD house that was the first in the world to be lit using hydroelectricity will once again harness the power of water to light the property.

Cragside, in Northumberland, was built by Lord Armstrong in 1863 and he used lakes on the estate to generate electricity through a turbine.

A 17-metre (56ft) Archimedes screw has now been installed which will use water to produce enough energy to light the 350 bulbs in the house.

Geordie actor Robson Green will today turn on the screw at the National Trust property and launch the hydropower project.

Andrew Sawyer, property curator at Cragside, said: “It is a very visual demonstration of the way hydro power works, an almost sculptural sight in the landscape. Lord Armstrong was an exceptional man with an ingenious mind and the prospect of bringing his vision for Cragside into the 21st century is a dream come true.”

Water from Tumbleton Lake, the lowest of five on the Cragside estate, will feed through the turbine and into the burn below.

As water passes through the spiral blades it causes the screw to turn, thereby harnessing the energy of falling water. The energy is then converted into electricity using a generator.