Welcome to Blacksticks lane, our virtual home from home.

Welcome to Blacksticks

The weather at our dairy in Inglewhite today is clear.

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Looking Forward to Spring?

It's still very chilly and wet in Inglewhite but that Lancashire rain will make the grass rich and lush and that makes the best milk for the best cheese! It's right now that we are most busy in the dairy - making the Lancashire cheeses that will be sold this Christmas after about 8 months maturation in our Cheese store. Exciting stuff! And we are also of course making Blacksticks Blue - dreaming of warmer days and summer picnics. In just a few weeks it will be time for the Blacksticks Blue 10k run around Beacon Fell - a fantastic event each May that makes us feel that Summer is truly on its way.
Very best wishes from all at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses.

The "Unexpected" playlist

Add our playlist to your Spotify and listen to what we're listening to.  If you'd like to send us your suggestions please do so and we'll add our favourites to the list - we love discovering new things.

Listen to our playlist

Blacksticks Blue

Take a look at our step by step recipes!
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  • The History of Blacksticks Blue

    Richard and Annie Barker purchased Lower Barker Farm in Inglewhite, Lancashire in 1932 and started making cheese on a very small scale with every inch of their house being utilised and cheesebeing sold only at local markets.

    Richard and Annie had four sons; Peter, Tom, Robert and Dick, each of whom went on to farm in the area. Whilst cheese making had to stop during the war years it started again soon after and that's where the Blacksticks name first comes into the picture as it was Peter, who farmed at Blacksticks Farm who continued the cheesemaking after the war using his own milk.

    In 1969, Tom with his wife Jean took over Lower Barker Farm. Jean turned her hand to cheesemaking, picking up the gauntlet from Peter whilst the milk for the cheeses continued to come from the family farms.

    As the family business thrived, the dairy moved across the road to Wilson Fields Farm in Inglewhite. The range of handmade cheeses developed, the list of awards started to pile up, the number of people employed grew and the business even spilled over into Wilsons Fields Farmhouse as every inch of space was utilized! It was time for the third generation to become involved as Jean’s daughter Gillian and her husband took their places, bringing in much needed technical and marketing skills.

  • The History of Blacksticks Blue

    Gill and Colin noticed that a range of specialist Continental cheeses was gaining a bigger audience in the UK and wondered why so few of these cheeses were, at that time, being made in British. Ever up for a challenge, Butlers set about creating a soft, rounded, Continental style British Blue FArmhouse cheese here in Lancshire..

    The first cheeses were made and sold in 2003, mainly to local restaurants. This included the Blacksticks Restaurant where Peter used to live (Blacksticks was no longer a working farm at that point). The distinctive veining of the cheese had a striking similarity to the stark outline of the Chestnut trees in winter that gave Blacksticks Lane and the farm its name. Blacksticks Blue was chosen, therefore, as the name for this exciting new cheese.

    Renowned chefs soon discovered Blacksticks Blue, including Simon Rimmer, who famously declared it "The Daddy of all Blue Cheeses". Shortly after, its future was secured when Marks and Spencers started selling Blacksticks Blue in their shops and from 2004 you could start to find Blacksticks Blue on sale in many shops up and down the country.

    In 2014 we are celebrating the 10th Birthday of Blacksticks Blue. If you can't visit the real Blacksticks Lane in Lancashire you can still find out what's going on at the dairy, discover and share recipes, listen to the music we're listening to in the dairy and generally stay in touch with the world of cheese and "The folk who like their blue cheese orange." The "Black Sticks" are represented in our logo and line our virtual Blaksticks Lane. They've sadly disappeared from the real lane so one of our aims for our 10th Birthday is to plant some new Chestnut trees at the end of this year. We'll keep you posted.

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Talk on the Lane