My husband and I are beef farmers and have a farm close to Sherborne on the Somerset/Dorset border.
On the farm is a four acre field that 100 year old maps showed was once an orchard although only three ancient cider apple trees remained .
With the assistance of Countryside Stewardship Grant we decided to return the orchard to its original purpose and some eight years ago we planted 180 cider apple trees, all local varieties: Harry Masters and Yarlington Mill as well as the Devon cider apple Northwood.
Shortly afterwards a large event was held attended by neighbouring farmers and friends during which the orchard was blessed by Canon Eric Woods, Vicar of Sherborne Abbey so as to ensure future good crops as well as the pagan alternative from folk singer, John Waltham, and the Wessex Morris Men.
After a few years we were getting enough apples from the orchard to make our own cider, admittedly with varying results.
Each year on Twelth Night we hold a traditional Wassail in the orchard and as a result we have realised how difficult it is to locate and purchase appropriate cider vessels to drink from. Local potters had little in stock, if any, and the internet choice was extremely limited.
It was from that we decided to create West Country Cider Mugs from where mugs could be easily obtained without waiting months for a potter to make something appropriate.
All of the mugs we offer are handmade and commissioned from various potters in Dorset, Somerset and Devon. Each has its own charm and are generally in some form unique.
Our Cider Barn
Our Stand at the International Craft Cider Festival in Wales