07 Aug 2018

The last horse-powered farm

Chris Hussey

Having a week’s holiday in Northumbria recently, it turned out that a farm very near to where we were staying is reported as being the last farm in the UK to be worked by horses. This is Sillywrea farm near Langley-on-Tyne. Walking a footpath through the farm I could feel there was something different about the field of barley we were walking alongside; it dawned on me that the difference was the absence of tractor ‘tramlines’ running across the field. Walking on we passed by the farmyard, seeing horse drawn equipment –  a roller and trailer, and later saw two horses with hay rakes at work in the fields. The farm has featured in various articles, including:

“The land where heavy horses reign supreme” (2009)

And a book: “The Last  Horsemen” (Charles Bowden, 2011 [Andre Deutsch Ltd.])