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This ancient farm farm was re-modelled and transformed by Northumbrian Industrialist Lord William Armstrong of Cragside in 1880’s. It has a unique history thanks to this great innovators vision for engineering and science including a Grade II* Agricultural Site.
Cragend Farm sits quietly on the edge of the famous Cragside Estate, 25 miles north of Newcastle, and has been a farm since the 16th century. It was re-modelled and transformed by Northumbrian Industrialist Lord William Armstrong of Cragside in 1880’s with stone from the Cragend Quarry. It lay neglected and derelict until 2011 when Lou and Shaun Renwick fell in love with its potential and bought the property. After 6 years of painstaking and sensitive restoration, the farm now houses a biomass log business, a registered Holiday Cottage, Bed and Breakfast rooms, a Happy Egg business and is the venue for Corporate and Fine Dining events in addition to being the Renwick family’s newly restored home.
It is quite a project. The farm did not even have electricity until 1971 and as they gradually restored the decades of neglect, the couple discovered a variety of remains of the farm’s heyday such as Victorian implements, milk churns and a variety of bottles associated with local 19th century businesses such as the Rothbury Water Company owned by George Storey – still a Coquetdale family well over 100 years later.
We continue to embrace the challenges the farm offers us, with neww tree planting projects and the rebuilding and re-landscaping of the environment around us.
The farm, aquired from The King in 1331 by The Duke of Northumberland, of Alnwick Castle and Syon House, was rented out for many centuries until Lord Armstrong of Cragside bought it in 1860’s, as part of a grand scheme to create a Model Farm to showcase his prize cattle and innovative water powered hydraulic machinery that worked threshing machines and milling devices.
Cragside Estate is now run by the National Trust and is on our doorstep.
two Turbines, a weighbridge and hydraulic Jig remain insitu on the farm. One of Lord Armstong’s hydraulic turbines was discovered below 4 feet of pig slurry and has provided a great deal of new information about the engineering of the Cragside Estate. An agricultural weighbridge bought by Armstrong from the 1871 Great Exhibition from H Pooley Ltd (now part of W&T Avery Ltd who manufacture scales and weighing machinery to this day) has been fully restored and is the only one Shaun and Lou can find of its kind remaining in the whole of the UK.
The iconic, Grade II* listed Silo, a much loved local landmark visible, has had its roof repaired. This building which has been judged by Historic England to be of national importance being one of only 4% of Listed buildings with such heritage. Updates on the progress of its conservation are on our blog.
East Cottage is a renovated Victorian workers cottage available for self-catering holidays in Northumberland. Being next door to Cragside means that history is right on the door step, as well as the beautiful countryside.
West Cottage, another farm workers cottage built by Lord Armstrong will be available soon for bookings.
The Armstrong Wing and The West Room are B&B rooms available at Cragend Grange, on the farm.
Prices and availability can be found on the B&B and Self-Catering pages of this website.
In June 2017 we started our herd of Pedigree Whitebred Shorthorn Cattle. We are hoping to extend our herd in 2018 and build up a Cragend line.
We have Park Type North Country Cheviot sheep grazing at Cragend Farm. They are originally a local breed, named after the high range of hills in Northumberland. We had our first lambing season in 2017 and now have 16 sheep.
The land around the farm buildings is receiving much needed love and attention for wildlife, like squirrels and deer. We have visiting geese at certain times of the year. The Black Burn flows to the east side of the boundary and is a vision of bluebells and primroses in Spring with wild garlic and watercress in profusion.
The banks of the River Coquet are very special for numerous reasons, the flora and fauna are exemplary, and the salmon and trout fishing are a treat only available to a special few. A sighting of a Kingfisher or an Otter can make a visit to Northumberland a memory forever. Cragend Farm has 1 ½ mile stretch of the north side of the Coquet available to visit on request if staying on the farm.
Our woodland The Coquetdale Plantation has Grown in britain status, which is promoting wood from tree to table. We have used our wood for making oak beams in the kitchen and as well as logs for woodburners, generating hot water and heat on the farm, we also make Cragend Candles a winter or summer delight for toasting a marshmallow or some outdoor cooking.
Reviews are always welcome at Cragend Farm, as they help "surfing" and "Googling" holiday makers see how other guests feel about Northumberland and our Farm stay.
Thanks to GD for this one!
"An absolute amazing B&B with fabulous short and longer term stay options both catered and self catered. The site is on the original Cragside Estate and you are in a beautiful and well kept rural setting with ample options to explore, walk, nature watch, eat or just relax.
Lou and Shaun have renovated the rooms and buildings sympathetically maintaining old and quirky features whilst giving them elegance and modern comfort.
Every time I stay I feel like I am at home and the only down side is having to leave.
Tips for other travellers: Cragside National Trust offers a full day out that you can repeat time and time again. Nice local shops, crafts and cafes are available in Rothbury and other local villages and Alnwick is a short drive away offering an even greater choice of shops and restaurants with a fantastic addition of the Alnwick garden, the amazing treehouse restaurant (do book in advance) and pretty little seaside Jaunts.
Too many things to list but Shaun and Lou provide ample info in room and are more than happy to help and advise".
To book B&B or Self-catering accommodation use using the 'BOOK NOW' button.
A new addition to Cragend Farm in 2020 is the rare breed of goat known as Bagot, is on the endangered list of pedigree English breeds and we have acquired a small herd in order to do some conservation grazing on our rougher ground and SSSI
Find Out More About Cragend
Cragend Farm has a interesting and diverse history, from technical innovations to historic buildings. Tied in closely to the neighbouring Cragside Estate home of Victorian inventor and industrialist Lord Armstrong.