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 5 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.
Updates on the day-to-day progress of the farm can be found on our Blog.
The farm, originally owned by The Duke of Northumberland, of Alnwick Castle and Syon House, was rented out for many centuries until Lord Armstrong 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.
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. Negotiations with county planners are currently underway for further restoration to this building which has been judged by Historic England to be of national importance. Updates on the progress of its conservation are on our blog.
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.
There are 40 acres of managed woodland within the farms boundary. Seasoned for a year in open barns, packs of premium logs can be taken home or delivered in bulk loads to local addresses. 01669-621533
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.
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. There are lambs to add to the collection as of April 2107.
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.
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.
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.
Exceptional historical farm accommodation with welcoming hosts. Beautifully restored farm in rural location just around the corner from Cragside. Lovely extra large bed in huge bedroom. Great fresh breakfast. Fantastic hosts, Lou and Shaun who really could not have done more to make us feel welcome. Just sorry we weren't able to stay longer!B from Co.Durham Armstrong Wing
We have stayed here for four nights with our dog, we have been made most welcome. We can appreciate all the work that has been done and the high standard to which is have been carried out, our room was most comfortable. Lou & Shaun are fantastic hosts and their knowledge of the area is second to none and very useful.Linda & Michael, B&B Armstong Wing
CRAGEND MUGS: Bone China mugs with either the Farm or the SIlo printed on them, are available to remind you of your stay at Cragend Farm £12 each (inc delivery to UK address).Cragend Mugs £12
Fabulous accommodation, really lovely welcoming hosts and great breakfast.Cleo & Mark - B & B Armstrong Wing
Lou and Shaun are friendly and relaxed hosts who welcomed us and gave us useful information about local attractions and places to eat. Lots to do around here. The farm is in a magnificent modern home in what was once traditional farm buildings. Our bedroom was very comfortable, tastefully furnished with tea and coffee facilities and that fab shower. All immaculate. It's in a wonderful peaceful setting with lovely views.Jane - B&B guest in West Room
Bring the evenings alight with our homemade "Swedish Candle" from Cragend Plantation. Different sizes with various burning times. Ideal for cooking marshmallows or having some campfire fun. From £10 each.Swedish Candles
Cragend Farm sells seasoned wood, in a variety of sizes for use in wood burning stoves and open fires.Seasoned Logs for sale
The logs are available in "easy to lift" log bags or delivered in bulk loads and stacked if required.
Carry Bag (soft wood) £17
Carry Bag (hard wood) £20
Sack Barrow (soft wood) £32
Sack barrow (hard wood) £35
Cubic Meter (soft wood) £82.95
Cubic Meter (hard wood) £96.60
Delivery extra. Please contact us for more information.
Shaun & Lou Renwick are keen to harness the farm's natural resources, using wood to heat their water, to cook with on a wood burning range, and to heat the houses on the Farm. Even if your house is not equipped to totally run on wood there are things you can do to make sure you are using the best quality wood for your fires.Why seasoned wood?
Why use Seasoned Wood?
Seasoned wood is a definition for 'wood drying'. About 5% of the energy of the log is wasted through evaporation and heating the water vapour of damp logs.
Moisture effects the burning process with unburnt hydrocarbons going up the chimney, which can in time create 'sooting' in the chimney, with the possibility of a chimney fire, all of which requires specialist sweeping.
Drying the wood before burning reduces moisture content in the wood before it is used for burning,
Air drying is the most traditional method, and it takes time. usually over and above 2 years! The fire will use less energy to burn the log if the water content is below 20%. Therefore is can give OUT more energy in the form of heat!
Cragend Farm endeavours to provide their customers with the best seasoned wood possible.
if you would like further information on the process of burning wood please contact us and we will be happy to help.
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.