Silsoe college remembered on new homes estate

Silsoe’s role in teaching agricultural engineering has been remembered on a new housing estate.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 15th December 2013, 12:00 pm
National College of Agricultural Engineering plaque unveiled at Silsoe Grange development.
National College of Agricultural Engineering plaque unveiled at Silsoe Grange development.

The former site of the National College of Agricultural Engineering was officially recognised in the unveiling of a plaque at Bloor Homes’ Silsoe Grange development on Friday, December 6.

The ceremony took place in front of an invited gathering of people with long associations with Silsoe College.

The site was an international centre for training and research in agricultural engineering and related disciplines subsequently becoming Silsoe College, a part of Cranfield University running from 1963-2009.

National College of Agricultural Engineering plaque unveiled at Silsoe Grange development.

Bloor Homes welcomed the former staff members to the site, plus Professor Frank Inns the first member of staff after the Principal, to be appointed to the college in 1962, who officially unveiled the plaque on what is now a brand new development by Bloor Homes.

Vanessa Macnee, Sales Director of Bloor Homes South Midlands said: “We were more than happy to assist in providing recognition to the expert work that was carried out in the renowned university.

“With the brand new development of homes now standing in the former college’s place, the plaque is a reminder and tribute to the college, preserving the key part of history that happened in Silsoe.”

The small group of 11 present at the unveiling were all members of staff when the college opened in

Silsoe in 1963. Another 20 colleagues visited in the afternoon.

Gordon Spoor, Professor of Applied Soil Physics said: “On behalf of all staff and students who went through Silsoe over what was almost a 50 year period, we are delighted with the production and the mounting of the Silsoe plaque in such a prominent position in the centre of Bloor Homes’ development and fairly central to the former College buildings.

“Professor Franks Inns is very pleased with the result, it’s a tasteful, high quality, modern design which we feel is very representative of the work and output from the College.”

Originally in temporary accommodation in Chelmsford, the College transferred to Silsoe into newly completed buildings in 1963.

In 1975 the National College became a School within Cranfield University and

its name was subsequently changed to Silsoe College. All teaching, research and consultancy work were transferred to the Cranfield Campus of the University in 2009, when the Silsoe site closed.

The College was an internationally renowned centre for training, research and consultancy in agricultural engineering and related disciplines and during the 46 year period in Silsoe some 6000 students were trained. The students were from both UK and abroad, those from overseas coming from all continents with representatives from more than 50 countries.

The site is now home to Silsoe Grange, a Bloor Homes development with properties completed to the excellent specification for which Bloor Homes are renowned.

Currently available is a range of three and four bedroom homes priced from £250,000 (£200,000 with Help to Buy).

For further information on the homes available at Silsoe Grange contact the sales office on 01525 862566, email [email protected] or visit