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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 April 2006, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Shortfall for stately home revamp
Cragside House was built by industrialist Lord Armstrong
Parts of a 19th Century stately home in Northumberland may have to remain closed to the public indefinitely because of a shortage of money.

Cragside House near Rothbury was shut in 2005 to allow work to be carried out as part of a planned 6m revamp.

But it has emerged the project is 700,000 short, which means some of the estate may have to remain closed off when it reopens in 2007.

The National Trust, which owns the property, has launched a public appeal.

Cragside was built by Victorian industrialist Lord Armstrong and was the first house in the world to be lit electrically using Joseph Swan's newly-invented incandescent light bulbs.

Adventure playground

The estate's other features included the first proto-steel bridge and one of the largest rock gardens in Europe.

Work has already been done to create a new adventure playground and refurbish the estate's extensive stables and visitor centre.

A National Trust spokeswoman said: "We have got money for rewiring, which is being undertaken at the moment.

"But if we don't get the rest of the money we need, it means we won't be able to do the refurbishments, which in turn means parts of the grounds will be closed off to the public."

The Trust says it hopes to get additional cash from public donations, members and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Historic house reopens
16 Dec 03 |  Tyne

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