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The Farm 

Berkswell Cheese is produced in our dairy at Ram Hall Farm in the small picturesque village of Berkswell in Warwickshire. Ram Hall is part of the Berkswell Estate and is now home to the 6th generation of the Fletcher family to farm the land here since 1881.
Stephen Fletcher currently manages the farm with his son George and father Peter.

History  

Ram Hall is part of the Berkswell Estate, owned by the Wheatley-Hubbard family since 1888; their support for our business in recent years has been tremendous. The farm has been home to six generations of the Fletcher family; Thomas Fletcher Snr. moved here from a neighbouring farm in 1881. The dairy ewe enterprise began with 40 ewes in 1989 alongside the long established herd of dairy cows, which were sold in 1995 and the business concentrated on growing the flock of sheep and expanding the cheese making business.

2019 marked the 30th Anniversary of Berkswell Cheese.

The Flock  

Berkswell is made using the milk from our Friesland ewes. All the ewes are born and bred at Ram Hall and are divided into four flocks, lambing throughout the year to enable a consistent and uninterrupted flow of milk to the dairy.

Crops 

Our most important crop is grass; for summer grazing and winter feeding.

We also grow as much of the other food we need for the winter ourselves too.
Lucerne, peas, wheat, barley and oats are all part of our crop rotation.

Our Story  

Dairy cows formed the heart of our business for many years but as a result of EU milk quotas, we moved to an alternative ‘small ruminant’ dairy business in 1989.

An enquiry from a local farm shop for sheep’s cheese right at the beginning set us on the path.

Cheese was made at Ram Hall many years ago following the traditional Warwickshire method but unfortunately there were no recipes to be found under the floorboards!

So how were we to make our milk into cheese?

A phone call to Sally Rogers, né Hubbard was made and the rest is history!

Sally was a dairy farming neighbour who knew how to make cheese.

Sheila Fletcher decided she should learn too so went on a cheese making course.

A lot of experimenting, including maturing in the cellar,produced something vaguely similar to what we know now.

A little more dabbling and we were able to win some cheese competitions which led to trade interest and we were up and running.
Development and improvements were made and these continue to the present day.

We now process all of the milk produced by our 850 ewes into Berkswell Cheese, available throughout the UK plus export to Mainland Europe,  North and South America, Hong Kong plus other far flung destinations.


Farmers Guardian 1994

Ram Hall 

It is understood that Ram Hall was built in the late 1500s, possibly as a dower house. A previous dwelling may have existed on the site.

Ram Hall has been a multi-purpose hive of activity; there was a meat smoker, malt drying pit, butchery, dairy, upstairs cheese maturing room, cellar and priest hole all within its four walls.

The pond at the rear was originally a three quarter moat.

The house is constructed of sandstone and brick. Inside, the walls show the original Tudor style fireplaces, beams and doors with some of the second floor rooms still retaining wattle and daub finishes.

It is believed that some of the beams were reclaimed from the previous house on the site and others were bought in from shipyards, possibly Gloucester.

There is no known documented history to say by whom, why or when Ram Hall was built.