Farm machinery designed by Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong set to go back on public show

Tours to see hydraulic machinery designed by a Victorian engineering pioneer are set to resume.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:07 pm

Cragside creator William Armstrong created a model farm at nearby Cragend Farm using ground breaking technology in the 1880s.

Historic tours of the farm and buildings including the unique hydraulic listed silo will start again on May 17.

Shaun and Lou Renwick, who also operate a rare breed farm with B&B and self-catering holiday accommodation, hope the tours will appeal to the ‘renewables generation’.

Shaun Renwick of Cragend Farm with the turbine invented and made by Lord Armstrong of Cragside.
Shaun Renwick of Cragend Farm with the turbine invented and made by Lord Armstrong of Cragside.

Lou said: “The engineering and design genius of Lord Armstrong of Cragside, led him to create a model farm that showed exceptional capacity for ground breaking technology in the 1880s.

"The fossil fuel era of motorised machinery has been short-lived and today’s world is starting to revisit these sustainable technologies as a way of combatting global warming and climate change.

“The silo, and its surrounding buildings, once completely derelict, and classed as a Building at Risk, has been partially restored for visitors with a head for heights to go inside the buildings and see the hydraulic machinery designed by Lord Armstrong of Cragside. At over 12 metres deep the Cragend silo is a unique building and worth a visit.”

The tours will run on May 18, June 8, June 22 and July 6 from 11am to 1pm with a walk and talk tour and discussions for anyone interested in architecture, historic buildings and agricultural and industrial engineering.

It costs £12.50. Free parking, toilet facilities and beverages available. Sturdy outdoor shoes are essential.

Covid regulations apply and pre-booking is required on 01669 621533 or visit

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