Cheddar most often refers to either:

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U.S. President Andrew Jackson once held an open house party at the White House at which he served a 1,400-lb (640-kg) block of Cheddar cheese.[39]

Explore the heights of one of our most spectacular natural sights. With its weathered crags and pinnacles, Cheddar Gorge plays host to a varied community of specialised plants and wildlife.

The Slow Food Movement has created a Cheddar Presidium,[27] claiming that only three cheeses should be called "original Cheddar". Their specifications, which go further than the "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar" PDO, require that Cheddar cheese be made in Somerset and with traditional methods, such as using raw milk, traditional animal rennet, and a cloth wrapping.[28]

About Cheddar Cheddar is a parish in Somerset known throughout the world as the origin of Cheddar Cheese, which has been produced here since the 12th Century and to this day is still stored in the Cheddar Caves to mature.

The village is situated on the A371 road which runs from Wincanton, to Weston-super-Mare.[97] It is approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the route of the M5 motorway with around a 10 miles (16 km) drive to junction 21 or 22.[98]

Cheddar made in the classical way tends to have a sharp, pungent flavour, often slightly earthy. Its texture is firm, with farmhouse traditional Cheddar being slightly crumbly; it should also, if mature, contain large cheese crystals consisting of calcium lactate – often precipitated when matured for times longer than six months.[24]

Cheddar Gorge is famous for its herd of feral goats, but this National Trust site has lots more fascinating wildlife to discover.

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Cheddar has a number of active service clubs including Cheddar Vale Lions Club, Mendip Rotary and Mendip Inner Wheel Club.[77] The clubs raise money for projects in the local community and hold annual events such as a fireworks display, duck races in the Gorge, a dragon boat race on the reservoir and concerts on the grounds of the nearby St Michael's Cheshire Home.[78]

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Cheddar has been produced since at least the 12th century. A pipe roll of King Henry II from 1170 records the purchase of 10,240 lb (4,640 kg) at a farthing per pound (totalling £10.13s.4d).[8] Charles I (1600–1649) also bought cheese from the village.[5] Romans may have brought the recipe to Britain from the Cantal region of France.[9]

The manor of Cheddar was deforested in 1337 and Bishop Ralph was granted a licence by the King to create a hunting forest.[19]

The Church of St Andrew dates from the 14th century. It was restored in 1873 by William Butterfield. It is a Grade I listed building and contains some 15th century stained glass and an altar table of 1631. The chest tomb in the chancel is believed to contain the remains of Sir Thomas Cheddar and is dated 1442.[107] The tower, which rises to 100 feet (30 m),[10] contains a bell dating from 1759 made by Thomas Bilbie of the Bilbie family.[108]

Cheddar is a large village and civil parish in the Sedgemoor district of the English county of Somerset. It is situated on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, 9 miles (14 km) north-west of Wells. The civil parish includes the hamlets of Nyland and Bradley Cross. The village, which has its own parish council, has a population of 5,755 and the parish has an acreage of 8,592 acres (3,477 ha) as of 1961.[2]

The Chelmscombe Quarry finished its work as a limestone quarry in the 1950s and was then used by the Central Electricity Generating Board as a tower testing station.[60] During the 1970s and 1980s it was also used to test the ability of containers of radioactive material to withstand impacts and other accidents.[61]

The ideal quality of the original Somerset Cheddar was described by Joseph Harding in 1864 as "close and firm in texture, yet mellow in character or quality; it is rich with a tendency to melt in the mouth, the flavour full and fine, approaching to that of a hazelnut".[23]

The name Cheddar comes from the Old English word ceodor, meaning deep dark cavity or pouch.[6]

Cheddar Gorge, including Cox's Cave, Gough's Cave and other attractions, has become a tourist destination, attracting about 500,000 visitors per year.[48] In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, following its appearance on the 2005 television programme Seven Natural Wonders, Cheddar Gorge was named as the second greatest natural wonder in Britain, surpassed only by the Dan yr Ogof caves.[49]

Much of the Cheddar cheese in New Zealand is factory produced. While most of it is sold young within the country, the Anchor dairy company ships New Zealand Cheddars to the UK, where the blocks mature for another year or so.[34]

The village is both on the route of the West Mendip Way and Samaritans Way South West.


The village supports a variety of community groups including religious, sporting and cultural organisations. Several of these are based on the site of The Kings of Wessex Academy, which is the largest educational establishment.

A cheese of 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) was produced in Ingersoll, Ontario, in 1866 and exhibited in New York and Britain; it was immortalised in the poem "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing over 7,000 Pounds"[40] by James McIntyre, a Canadian poet.[41]

There are also churches for Roman Catholic, Methodist and other denominations, including Cheddar Valley Community Church, who not only meet at The Kings of Wessex School on Sunday, but also have their own site on Tweentown for meeting during the week.[109] The Baptist chapel was built in 1831.[110]

The cheese originates from the village of Cheddar in Somerset, south west England. Cheddar Gorge on the edge of the village contains a number of caves, which provided the ideal humidity and steady temperature for maturing the cheese.[5] Cheddar cheese traditionally had to be made within 30 mi (48 km) of Wells Cathedral.[1]

Kings Fitness & Leisure, situated on the grounds of The Kings of Wessex School, provides a venue for various sports and includes a 20-metre swimming pool, racket sport courts, a sports hall, dance studios and a gym.[111] A youth sports festival was held on Sharpham Road Playing Fields in 2009.[112] In 2010 a skatepark was built in the village,[113] funded by the Cheddar Local Action Team.[114]

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The curds and whey are separated using rennet, an enzyme complex normally produced from the stomachs of newborn calves (in vegetarian or kosher cheeses, bacterial, yeast or mould-derived chymosin is used).[19][20]

The village gave its name to Cheddar cheese,[65] which is the most popular type of cheese in the United Kingdom.[66] The cheese is now made and consumed worldwide, and only one producer remains in the village.

The village is in the 'Cheddar and Shipham'electoral ward. After including Shipham the total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census is 6,842.[35]

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Perhaps the most famous of our native cheeses, Cheddar is now made around the world. Traditional farmhouse examples, such as Montgomery’s and Keen’s, are still made from raw cows’ milk and matured for up to 18 months, giving them a dry, flaky texture and a rich, tangy, often nutty character. Mass-produced examples tend to be aged for much shorter periods, and will have a creamier, moister texture and a milder flavour, but generally melt better when cooked.

Cheddar Football Club, founded in 1892 and nicknamed "The Cheesemen",[115] play in the Somerset County Football League Premier Division.[116] In 2009 plans were revealed to move the club from its present home at Bowdens Park on Draycott Road to a new larger site.[115]

Oregon members of the Federation of American Cheese-makers created the largest Cheddar cheese in 1989. The cheese weighed 56,850 lb (25,790 kg).[44]

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Cheddar is the most popular type of cheese in the UK, accounting for 51% of the country's £1.9 billion annual cheese market.[2] It is also the second-most-popular cheese in the US (behind mozzarella), with an average annual consumption of 10 lb (4.5 kg) per capita.[3] The United States produced approximately 3,000,000,000 lb (1,300,000 long tons; 1,400,000 tonnes) in 2014,[4] and the UK 258,000 long tons (262,000 tonnes) in 2008.[5]

According to a United States Department of Agriculture researcher, Cheddar cheese is the world's most popular variety of cheese, and the most studied type of cheese in scientific publications.[18]