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South Downs Heritage Centre

Food Producers

Westcombe Dairy

 

Records show that unpasteurised cheddar was being made at Westcombe Farm by Mr & Mrs Brickell in the early 1900s, and before that by Edith Cannon in 1890. This reputably formidable lady made a cheddar that was legendary in the area, inspiring the Bricknell family to continue the tradition.

Fast forward a century and the dairy is still in full production under Richard Calver and Rachel Gore (granddaughter of the Bricknells). However it wasn't until Richard's son Tom - a trained chef - joined the business, that the high quality cheeses Westcombe is famed for today really came into being. 

He came back to Somerset to work in the dairy, where he set about understanding, and then perfecting, the art of making traditional unpasteurised cheddar.


 

Tom took over cheesemaking at Westcombe Dairy in 2008. Encouraged by his old Neal’s Yard mentor Randolph Hodgson, he sought to improve the quality of the cheese by mastering every aspect of its process, from ensuring the milk was as good as possible, to understanding the interplay of traditional cultures and rennets on the milk’s natural bacteria.

Tom moved the dairy away from mechanisation as much as possible and encouraged an intuitive approach that seeks to express the milk’s true character. He realised that the key to making great cheese lies in understanding the daily-changing character of the milk – as well as always striving for perfection in transforming it into wholesome and flavoursome cheese.

Westcombe Dairy believe that cheese is only as good as the milk it's made from, and that milk is only as good as the cows that produce it and the land they graze. By focusing on all these details, their aim is to make cheese that is not only wholesome and a joy to eat, but which is honest to and redolent of the countryside that produces it.

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Westcombe Dairy

www.westcombedairy.com

01749 838033

Westcombe Dairy

www.westcombedairy.com

01749 838033

Westcombe Dairy

 

Records show that unpasteurised cheddar was being made at Westcombe Farm by Mr & Mrs Brickell in the early 1900s, and before that by Edith Cannon in 1890. This reputably formidable lady made a cheddar that was legendary in the area, inspiring the Bricknell family to continue the tradition.

Fast forward a century and the dairy is still in full production under Richard Calver and Rachel Gore (granddaughter of the Bricknells). However it wasn't until Richard's son Tom - a trained chef - joined the business, that the high quality cheeses Westcombe is famed for today really came into being. 

He came back to Somerset to work in the dairy, where he set about understanding, and then perfecting, the art of making traditional unpasteurised cheddar.


 

Tom took over cheesemaking at Westcombe Dairy in 2008. Encouraged by his old Neal’s Yard mentor Randolph Hodgson, he sought to improve the quality of the cheese by mastering every aspect of its process, from ensuring the milk was as good as possible, to understanding the interplay of traditional cultures and rennets on the milk’s natural bacteria.

Tom moved the dairy away from mechanisation as much as possible and encouraged an intuitive approach that seeks to express the milk’s true character. He realised that the key to making great cheese lies in understanding the daily-changing character of the milk – as well as always striving for perfection in transforming it into wholesome and flavoursome cheese.

Westcombe Dairy believe that cheese is only as good as the milk it's made from, and that milk is only as good as the cows that produce it and the land they graze. By focusing on all these details, their aim is to make cheese that is not only wholesome and a joy to eat, but which is honest to and redolent of the countryside that produces it.

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Heritage Centre Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: 9:00 - 17:30
Sunday: 10:30 - 16:30 (Browsing from 10:00) 

The Barn Coffee Shop & Restaurant Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: 9:00 - 17:30
Sunday: 10:00 - 17:00

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The South Downs Heritage Centre is located at South Downs Nurseries, part of the Tates of Sussex Garden Centre Group