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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > February 2019 > LABOUR OFLOVE


Lou and Shaun Renwick have spent over seven years bringing this Northumberland farmstead, on the edge of the historic Cragside estate, back to life by turning it into a unique family home

When Lou and Shaun Renwick came into an inheritance, they were keen to invest it wisely. Rather than taking the easy option, they chose instead to purchase a historic – and completely dilapidated – farm on the edge of the famous Cragside estate.

“We were living on the family farm just a few miles away,” says Shaun. “When my father died, the property was sold, and we started searching for somewhere else to live. We looked at every type of house you can think of but kept being drawn back here.”

This sprawling farm has been converted and renovated into the Renwick’s 687m² family home
Once a milking parlour, the kitchen has modern pendant lights emulating the original dairy fittings

The property they couldn’t put out of their minds was a collection of sorry-looking buildings known collectively as Cragend Farm. The buildings date back hundreds of years, and were redeveloped in Victorian times when the celebrated engineer Lord William Armstrong bought land at nearby Cragside to build a mansion. Around the same time, he reinvented this estate as a showpiece for his pioneering agricultural machinery and prize pedigree cattle. The project included a revolutionary silo tower along with two large hydraulic turbines to power the agricultural machinery.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Renovating floors in a period home - Rainwater goods cost guide - Choosing the right smart home security systems - Could an architect save you money?