Skip to the content

Mental Wellbeing is a priority at Cragend Farm

Cragend Farm Visit Northumberland  Farm Stay

With its creamy stone walls and pillowed cobbled walkways Cragend Farm is a site like no other in the world. It is truly unique now, thanks to the philanthropic Victorian inventor, Lord Armstrong of Cragside. In the centuries that have past since agricultural labourers of Northumberland were first welcomed under its roofs, when it was a place to work and earn their daily bread, the farm has been steeped in history from is early origins of Iron Age settlers to the Victorian era of great innovation.

Cragend Farm is the latest example of a growing faith in the healing powers of heritage buildings. For in the same way that walks through Britain’s forests are now being prescribed as an effective way to help counteract anxiety and stress, so the conservation trusts and charities of the heritage industry are starting to promote the power of ruins and historic buildings to improve mental wellbeing.

“It is a common theme we get back from all our guests,” said Lou Renwick, of Cragend Grange, who with her family have rescued, restored and now rents out these significant historic buildings. “So many say how much calmer they feel. It is so appropriate that we can use Cragend Farm for these experiences, because it is a place that has such a strong sense of nurturing about it, historically with farming practices, and with Lord Armstrong using this site as a place to show how he could help the farming community with his innovations, and  housing his prize herd of cattle here.”

“It is so much more welcoming than we imagine a rural farm to be today. Armstrong re-modelled it, and both the local villagers, and travellers from far and wide, were desperate to work for him, in the most modern of agricultural settings, back in the 1880’s.

We use the buildings as a resource for historical tours and local research, and each year we also offer a free visit though competitions and through Heritage Open Days. We also raise funds for local community projects through our tours.

Cragend Farm, (Listed Grade II* Historic England site No 1153196) is thrilled that people are exploring the therapeutic side of their properties, with natural healing and contemplation, or forest bathing, now being prescribed by some doctors treating depression.

Historic England has also found that visits to historic towns, ancient places of worship and archaeological sites have the same beneficial effects on blood pressure and general wellbeing as social sporting activity.

Research by University College London five years ago was among the first to make the link between heritage sites and mental wellness. It showed that contact with a heritage site, whether as a visitor or a volunteer, frequently improved mood and even promoted a sense of citizenship among isolated and disadvantaged groups.

Britain’s local authorities have been encouraging families to visit nearby museums, stately homes and historic sites as a healthy way to break the repetitive pattern of work, shopping and domestic chores 

While a period of respite in a beautiful castle or folly would probably benefit anyone, Lou Renwick believes that offering a moment “out of time”, with no distractions, phone or television, is always destined to be a haven of peace and healing.

Booking for 2024 now open

Day Visits, B&B and Self Catering Accommodation.

About the author

Lou is the owner of Cragend Farm with her husband Shaun, and deals with everything from Holiday Accommodation inquiries to egg collection from the chickens; she is the social media and web design finger-tapper.

It was nice being on a small working farm with rare-breed cattle and sheep in the fields...Shaun gave us a tour of the farm and showed us the Grade 2* listed silage barn which is the original and the only one of its kind remaining. We spent a whole day on the Cragside estate, it's walkable from the cottage. We travelled to Alnwick Castle, Hadrians Wall and two of the best beaches anywhere. Rothbury is a five minute drive with a nice variety of small shops. All in all a lovely, relaxing place to stay.
T&J Oxford

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.