Cheese Press, Somerset Rural Life Museum

Contributed by Somerset Rural Life Museum

Cast iron cheese press made by Albert Day of Mark, Somerset © Somerset County Council Heritage Service

This cheese press was made in the village of Mark, Somerset, at the foundry of Albert Day. Presses were used during the final stage of cheese production when the last drop of liquid was squeezed from the curd. The press is a symbol of the modernisation of cheese making that took place in the later 1800s.

Cheddar cheese has been produced in Somerset for hundreds of years. In the 1860s Joseph Harding, a Somerset cheese maker, applied scientific methods and higher standards of hygiene to the production of Cheddar cheese, resulting in a far superior product. Harding's methods were applied in places as far afield as Scotland and America. His son Henry introduced the techniques to Australia and New Zealand.

Today, Cheddar is Britain's most popular cheese. Globally more Cheddar cheese is produced than any other kind.

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