Yoredale (Old Roan) Wensleydale

Fresh, sharp yet light flavour with a supply creamy texture.

  • Unpasteurised
  • Cows' Milk
  • Suitable in Pregnancy
  • Vegetarian

In 1957 the single last farmer producing Wensleydale cheese in the Yorkshire Dales gave up.  Over 50 years later in July 2019, Ben and Sam Spence re-started that tradition on their farm in the heart of Wensleydale.

Using fresh milk from local cows, they make an old-fashioned Wensleydale cheese, not quite as crumbly as its modern relations, with a fresh, sharp yet light flavour and supple creamy texture.

Made by Ben and Sam Spence in the town of Wensley, Wensleydale, England.

More about this

The Spence family have farmed at Home Farm in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales since 1953, starting out milking 20 Dairy Shorthorn cows. Three generations later,  Ben Spence has restarted traditional cheesemaking in the area, along with his wife Sam.

Starting out on their own farm, they diversified into cheesemaking in 2019.  For many years the milk was ferried up to the factory at Wensleydale Creamery and was used by the Creamery to make a range of block and traditional cheeses. With fluctuations in the milk price, however, the Spence family decided to take their future into their own hands and start making cheese at Home Farm –which would be the first farm-produced Wensleydale made in the Dale since 1957. There were once thousands of Wensleydale farms making cheese, each producing their own style of Wensleydale cheese.

The Spence family attended a cheese-making course held by The Courtyard Dairy, took further advice from The Courtyard Dairy owner Andy Swinscoe, then set about producing their Wensleydale cheese from raw milk. Blocking and turning the curd by hand, they fill traditional tall ‘Wensleydale hoops’ before cloth-binding the cheese and maturing it for 3-4 months. Made following the old-fashioned methods, it retains a touch more moisture than its modern faster-made, crumblier and drier cousins. But is still very much a Wensleydale cheese.

in 2021 Ben and Sam left the family farm in Aysgarth to move onto the Castle Bolton estate in the actual town of Wensley from where the Dale and cheese take it’s name (Wensleydale is one of the few ‘Dales’ not named after a river – unlike it’s neighbours Ribblesdale, Swaledale, Nidderdale, Coverdale, Wharfedale….).

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.

The Spence family make vegetarian batches exclusively for The Courtyard Dairy.

Ingredients: Milk, salt, cheese cultures and rennet.

Customer reviews

  1. Chris Cunningham

    Take this from an exiled Dalesman – this Wensleydale is magnificent. I’m absolutely thrilled that the Spences have restored the tradition of farm produced Wensleydale. The result is a superb cheese which brought to mind the fare we often had with huge cobs of bread at the end of a harvest day when I was a farm boy in the ‘60s. Thank heavens for an antidote to the mass-produced stuff that most folk think is Wensleydale. This is the real thing. The Spence family – take a bow!

  2. Jaki

    An absolutely wonderful cheese…such depth of flavour! I like wensleydale cheese but this is another level. It packs a punch and isn’t a cheese to be ignored! Put this one centre stage.

  3. Colin Walmsley

    Subtle, creamy, and without the weird supermarket “bitterness”… a good cheese just to enjoy for it’s own sake!

  4. Jim Pyrah

    Easily the best Wensleydale money can buy

  5. Joanna

    Delicious and creamy.

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