Our family has been farming in North and South Cadbury for three generations. Archie and Jamie’s grandfather, Sir Archibald Langman, bought the farm in 1911 and continued the traditional cheesemaking while so many others gave up during and after the Second World War. Sir Archibald’s daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery, took the helm from her father after her husband, John, bought the farm from his parents-in-law in 1963. Elizabeth kept to the unpasteurised, traditional recipe, through a period when most farms were buying milk and pasteurising. Hers was a brave strategy at a time when the growth of the supermarkets was seriously threatening the future of unpasteurised cheddar.
When Jamie inherited the role of cheese master of the family from his mother, the resurgence in the interest in food led to an increase in independent delicatessens and the desire for more knowledge about the food we eat.
Manor Farm, North Cadbury
The farm covers about 1200 acres, bisected by the A303, just west of Wincanton in Somerset. The valley floor has good enough soils to grow potatoes which share rotation with wheat, rape and maize. The arable side of the farm is overseen by Jamie’s brother Archie and Archie’s son, Rory.
Either side of the valley is the grassland. To the north we have parkland around North Cadbury Court. This parkland is grazed by the 180 Friesian/Ayrshires, whose milk gets made into our traditional clothbound cheddar every day.
To the south rises the hill fort of Cadbury Castle/Camelot. The slopes are climbed by the 150 Jersey cows whose delicate looks belie a greater curiosity and athleticism. Since 2000 some of the rich Jersey milk has been used to make our Ogleshield. A washed-rind cheese that looks and behaves a little like Raclette.