Cheese Making in Hartington
The original Hartington creamery was established by the Duke of Devonshire in the 1870’s, and produced a white crumbly Derbyshire cheese until it was partially destroyed by fire in 1894.
After standing empty for six years it was taken over and reinstated in 1900 by Thomas Nuttall, a prize-winning Stilton cheese-maker from Melton Mowbray. He began producing Blue Stilton at Hartington on the 1st April 1900 and helped start the legacy that made “Nuttalls” cheese famous throughout the world. The business was later carried on and expanded by his son, John M. Nuttall. Sadly John died in 1915 but his wife and site manager Mr Brindley carried on and built up the company, and it was Joe Brindley ( a local man) who held the warrant to King George V in the 1930’s
.It was also during the 1930’s that a far-sighted regulation (a Certification Trade Mark) confined the legal production of Blue Stilton to the three neighbouring counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. This helped to protect the cheese from inferior copies and keep it “special”. This was further reinforced by Stilton being granted PDO status by the EU. Hartington was one of many cheese factories in the Peak District but as the twentieth century progressed it became far more profitable for farmers to supply milk to the fast-growing urban townships than to local cheese factories, and one by one the other cheese factories in Derbyshire gradually closed until only the Hartington factory was left to keep the Derbyshire cheese-making tradition alive up until 2009 when the factory closed. This tradition was reinstated on the 17th October 2012 when the new Hartington Creamery Limited made its first cheese.
The first products produced at the creamery were Peakland Blue and Peakland White which are unique to Hartington Creamery. These have been supplemented in 2014 with the return of Stilton manufacture with the first blue versions made in Derbyshire for 5 years in July 2014.
- 2014 PDO license to make Stilton achieved Diana Alcock site manager
- 2018 Dovedale Blue a cheese pioneered at Dairy Crest Hartington recreated at Pikehall – PDO achieved.
- 2019 New majority owner Robert Gosling.