Kirkham’s Lancashire

Buttery, yoghurty, light.

  • Unpasteurised
  • Cows' Milk

Third-generation Lancashire-maker Graham Kirkham still follows the traditional two-day curd method of making Lancashire cheese, giving a buttery, yoghurty flavour with a fluffy and light texture that melts in the mouth.

The Kirkhams are the very last farmhouse producer of raw-milk Lancashire cheese, and are still very much a family farm. Three generations of the family – Graham, his mum and his sons – produce superb cheese every day with the milk from their 100 cows.

The Courtyard Dairy is one of only two shops which still have Kirkham’s Lancashire made for them in a traditional 25kg (56lb) wheel.  This size of Kirkham’s Lancashire ages slower, producing a better, longer-lasting flavour.

Made by Graham Kirkham in Goosnargh, Lancashire, England.

More about this

Made by the Kirkham family in the village of Goosnargh near Longridge.

Graham learnt to make Lancashire cheese from his mother (the famous Mrs Kirkham) who learnt from her mother, and there is an even longer history of cheese-making in the Kirkham family.

Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese is the last and only farmhouse Lancashire made from unpasteurised milk.  The history of Lancashire cheese dates back to the 13th century but it fell out of favour in recent generations.  It was even banned during the second world war, as it was inefficient to make compare with other recipes like Cheshire and Cheddar – the 200 farm producers in 1939 simply stopping producing creamy Lancashire.

The Kirkham family have continued to make both creamy (aged up to 12 weeks) and tasty (aged over 12 weeks) Lancashire cheese.  This is a more traditional version of Lancashire than the crumbly Lancashire now made by many modern dairies.  The modern dairy version was an invention to speed up the process of making cheese by making a drier, more crumbly, tart cheese.

Traditional creamy and tasty Lancashire is made over two-days (or sometimes even three or four).  It involves using curd from both days (this method originated because some small farmers in Lancashire did not have a big enough herd to make cheese on one day, so would combine several days’-worth of curd).  Using the two-day curd method produces a rich yet light and fluffy texture, and helps develop the yoghurty, fresh acidic flavours.

Kirkham’s Lancashire is then traditionally clothbound and ‘buttered-up’ (enclosing the cheese in a buttered cloth to enable it to breath) and aged for 3-6 months.

Over recent years Graham Kirkham has expanded output (increasing the herd from 40 to 100 cows), built a new dairy and returned to even more traditional ways of making Lancashire cheese, producing a lactic, yoghurty-buttery flavour with a fluffy texture that melts in the mouth.  This gives Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese the ‘buttery crumble’ that Lancashire folk love!  Graham’s favourite way to cook his cheese is the way his Mum (Mrs Kirkham) taught him – ‘Cheesey Eggs’, click here to read the recipe.

Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese at The Courtyard Dairy comes from traditional, large 25kg truckles.  Made to order for The Courtyard Dairy, these larger cheeses are more traditional and age slower, producing a better long-lasting flavour.  (Most Kirkham’s Lancashire is now found in the smaller ‘midi’ size – 10kg – because many wholesalers and shops find it easier to deal with.)

The mini-truckle weighs in at 1.1kg

Ingredients: Milk, salt, cheese cultures and rennet.

This product will have two weeks’ shelf life from the date of delivery.  Conveniently, at checkout you can choose a delivery date even well in the future if you would like your cheese delivering for a specific event.

Customer reviews

  1. Monica Newbery

    Tried these cheeses for Christmas 2016. Absolutely first class flavour, texture and appearance. Thank you for such deliciousness


    I first heard about this cheese on Radio 4 The Food Programme. So U ordered some.
    It arrived well packaged and looked beautiful. No plastic in sight.
    When I tasted it I was immediately transported back to the 1950 s and my childhood in Lancashire. This is cheese as it used to be. Tangy, creamy and that lovely light golden colour. It was everything the food programme claimed. Delicious !
    I will certainly be reordering in the near future.
    John McCarroll

  3. David Neville

    This cheese is sweet but sharp and is firm but crumbly and is just delicious.

  4. David Palmer

    Brilliant Cheese!!!!!

  5. Ann Evans

    Enjoyed by my family for decades- we used to have special excursions to see Mrs Kirkham and buy directly- Kirkham’s Lancashire is outstandingly good. I feel certain that the very best of it comes to the Courtyard Dairy… where it’s cared for lovingly and sold tasting perfect by my favourite cheesemonger in the whole world. Blessed indeed are the cheesemakers…. and the good mongers!!!!

  6. Dave Thompson

    Have enjoyed Mrs Kirkam’s cheeses for some years now and buy it af the Latk Lane food market in Liverpool every fourth Saturday in the month.
    Also called on at the farm, to see it being made. Welcomed by Graham and his lovely wife.
    Great family business.

  7. Carolyn Driver

    Absolutely delicious – reminded my husband of the cheese he had as a child in Lancashire. We will be back for more.

  8. C Serjeant

    Oh the excitement,smell and texture of a mini Truckles. Read the instructions on how to open and take your time. Then eat at leisure this wonderful cheese. All of Kirkhams cheese are great but this has the thrill of anticipation!!

  9. Lin

    This lovely cheese made Christmas 2020 for us. A delight.

  10. Ann Tulloch

    A rare find!

  11. Ann Tulloch

    A rare find!
    I wish it was stocked more locally but research is all part of the fun.

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