Capability Brown commemorated by north Northumberland dairy

Alexis Moore, Kirkharle Courtyard manager, with the Capability Brown cheese. Picture by Helen Smith Photography
Alexis Moore, Kirkharle Courtyard manager, with the Capability Brown cheese. Picture by Helen Smith Photography

The award-winning Doddington Dairy has announced the launch of a new cheese and ice-cream to commemorate the 300th birthday of the renowned landscape gardener Capability Brown.

The Capability Brown cheese is made from milk from the Maxwell’s own dairy herd, while the newly-launched Vintage Rhubarb ice-cream is also made from the milk from the dairy herd, together with vintage varieties of rhubarb, specially grown by the Maxwell family on the North Doddington farm.

The limited-edition, handmade cheese is a mold, rinded, pasteurised cheese, which is matured for three months and is currently only available at Kirkharle, the birthplace of Capability Brown, where it will be sold within the Kirkharle Courtyard.

Creamy in colour with a crumbly texture, it has a distinctive mild and mellow flavour, designed to complement the many fruits and nature’s bounties found in Capability Brown’s gardens.

Kitty Anderson, owner of Kirkharle, said: “We are delighted that Doddington has taken on board the importance of the birthplace of Capability Brown, creating this delicious cheese, which is available in our new farm shop, Brown’s Larder.

“This limited-edition cheese is a unique addition to their range of Doddington cheeses, dedicated to famous people with Northumbrian associations, which also include Admiral Collingwood and Darling Blue.”

Continuing Doddington’s long legacy of using fresh, local produce, which is additive and preservative free, together with milk from their own dairy herd, the Vintage Rhubarb ice cream uses rhubarb, which is grown in fields adjacent to the dairy, ensuring the freshest taste possible and full traceability.

Born in Kirkharle in 1716, Capability Brown was born the son of a land agent and a chambermaid; he enjoyed a modest upbringing before becoming a head gardener’s apprentice at 16. He then went on to design 170 gardens for the finest country houses and estates in Britain, including Blenheim Palace and Warwick Castle.

Returning to his roots in Northumberland, Capability Brown is also renowned for designing the gardens at Alnwick Castle and Wallington Hall, before going back to his birthplace to design the gardens at Kirkharle Hall.

Jackie Maxwell, from Doddington Dairy, said: “Capability Brown is a hugely important figure in Northumbrian history and we wanted to celebrate his 300th birthday with something special. Our Vintage Rhubarb ice cream is made with an antique variety of rhubarb, which would have been used in Capability’s day, so we like to think it is something he would have used in his work.”

Last month, the Duke of Northumberland has helped to launch a new set of stamps to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown, including one featuring Alnwick Castle.