Treasure hunting in Cragg Vale

Daisy had a bad dream the other night. A Dragon came out of the river. The bad dreams always seem to feature dragons; I blame Room on the Broom! Once I’d calmed her down I couldn’t get back to sleep myself and so I lay there thinking about New Cragg Hall. There’s a very beautiful bit of it that fascinates me.

cragg hall detail 1

The, what would you call it – veranda? covered terrace? It looks borrowed from the Alhambra, quite at odds with a Yorkshire valley. But I lay awake imagining what it would be like to stand there and look out. This is a very early stage… The painting always begin very dark and get brighter.

terrace painting stage 1

I visited Cragg Vale to draw the view. I sat in this beautiful stone shelter in what is now the tennis courts, but used to be the rose gardens.

stone shelter

My lovely friend Nancyann found a very nice knowledgeable local man to show us around the ruins that are now on private land. I got a little excited. There is more left than I thought! It really was like treasure hunting. Remember The Secret Garden, when Mary Lennox finds the door under the ivy? I felt just like that!

cragg vale ruin details

I have done some more work on the first painting, inspired by what I found:

cragg hall painting 1 2nd stage

10 Responses to “Treasure hunting in Cragg Vale

  • What a wonderful project! Creating new beauty from the fading shadows of almost forgotten memories. Love the painting above.

    • Thanks Andy! I shall become very boring about this in the coming months. The houses keep me awake at night, and haunt my dreams.

      • That shows commitment and passion, nothing boring about that.

  • I absolutely LOVE your idea and will be following the blog with great interest. Hope we will be able to come over and see the exhibition!

    • Thanks Jill. It would be so lovely if you could come! I’m becoming do preoccupied with this. Last night i dreamt of huge, glass winter gardens….

  • How wonderful to find such treasure!The verandah/covered terrace is called a portico,designed so a carriage could pull up to the door and the passengers could alight,not being at the mercy of the elements!

  • I am transfixed by these lost houses, you painting is beautiful, i just wondered if some of that stone work is still there ? Alyson

  • Hi Kate, I absolutely love your paintings! I have a print of Valley Gardens. I love the vibrant colours and the gold detailing.
    Your recent project of Lost Houses really excited me, I used to live in the grounds of ‘New’ New Cragg Hall, in one of the four houses which were staff houses. I was 4yrs old when we moved there and we had the run of the grounds, right down to the Lodge. We used to love playing in the Turrets, and the Band Stand, which used to be a pond was great for playing tig! One year the gardener took us out in a rowing boat on the lake, and we got off on the island that was in the centre. We had a lovely bonfire night, with potatoes cooked in foil, in the fire itself, hot chocolate afterwards up at the hall. The path was lit with painted jam jars with candles inside. Happy days!
    I would love to buy a print of New Cragg Hall, wheres the best place to get one? Thanks, Jennifer x

  • This is a super painting and I am wondering what price it is for a print.

    Many thanks.

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