Typically a cheese press would have been located at farms rather than outside the ‘big hoose’ for they wouldn’t have dreamed of making cheese so publicly.. There are two of them in these gardens – can you find them?
- Why was cheese made on the farms?
The one used by the castle is actually built into the wall at the stables.
- Cheese was an essential commodity in rural communities in the old days. Without fridges and freezers other ways were found to store food – there are several ways.
- Sugar – e.g. jams and chutneys – that’s why they’re called preserves.
- Salt – e.g. hams, bacon
- Smoking – e.g. smoked salmon
- Bottling & Canning: e.g. bottled fruits, baked beans
- Water Glass – e.g. to preserve eggs
- Making cheese was one way of preserving the surplus milk and cream from the summer through the winter. Soft cheese is easy to make and, without refrigeration, keeps for only a short while. Hard cheese, however, cheddar for example, would keep for months. Cheese was made in the usual way, wrapped in muslin cloth and pressed to make a hard cheese. The juice that ran from the cheese was not wasted and either drunk or fed to animals.
There are various stone watering troughs scattered about the garden. In the old days they would have had fresh water running into them continuously and overflowing to waste.
The cheese presses and troughs have been salvaged from various farms on the estate over the years.
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Some kind words from our previous guests…
With great gratitude for your welcome! I truly felt at home. June 2018
S. Conrad, Palm Beach, FL