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Our Story

Abbey Farm Cottage the home of Smock Alley Goats and Artisan Rosedale Goats Cheese situated in the small village of Rosedale Abbey nestling below Chimney Bank in the heart of the North York Moors National Park.

Come, get away from it all and enjoy peace and tranquillity in our luxurious bespoke dog friendly Shepherds Huts and Converted Barn all with private wood fired hot tubs

Local activities on the doorstep are:

  • Walking – our driveway is a public footpath which leads to walks varying from a mile or two to extensive walks up and over the moors to the north of the village;

  • Cycling – be it road or mountain biking there are plenty of challenges of the doorstep;

  • Horse riding – there are an extensive set of bridal ways from the village that take you through fantastic countryside within the valley and up over the moors to the north, south and west of the village with forest trails available to the east;

  • Regular basic cheese making course run by Suzie and Jonty in the  kitchen;

  • Opportunities to help care for the goats, ducks and chickens;

  • 18 Hole golf at Kirkbymoorside 15 mins drive .A small 9 hole pitch and putt course in the village;

  • The moors with grouse, pheasant, partridge, curlews, lapwings and of course sheep as well as stunning views with the abundance of heather;

  • Two village pubs – the nearest being a 200 metre walk; and

  • Two village café’s and a village shop being a 300 metre walk.

The farm is under 30 minutes by car from Whitby, Scarborough, Robin Hoods Bay, the Pickering to Whitby steam railway, the historic sites of Iron mining in the valley of Rosedale, the Rydale Folk Museum at Hutton-the-hole, Goathland (the home of Heartbeat), Flamingo Land and much much more and only 55 minutes from York.

Suzie and Jonty Birrell-Gray were married in July 2015.

At that time they had a small field in SMOCK ALLEY, a road in West Chiltington, West Sussex, where they kept a cat, some chickens and two horses.

We were keen to know the provenance of where their food came from so they decided to buy to saddleback weaners, Star and Stripe, to grow for their freezer in the knowledge that they had been reared in a truly free-range environment and with love.

At the same time, they created some vegetable patches to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Jonty a keen amatuer cook saw Matt Gillan the Michelin Starred chef prepared an amazing Goat dish on the Great British menu in which he used all parts of a male dairy kid which would have previously been discarded at birth.

Jonty asked Suzie whether she would like some goats as a first Christmas present..

Within 24 hours Suzie purchased five pedigree Boer goats!! Blondie, Luna, Cisse, Belle and Lucius a wether who she promised to keep as a pet.

Suzie soon decided a milk goat would be a good idea, so Sara the Saanen was bought quickly followed by Olive the Toggenburg, Ariel the Saanen cross and Clementine the Golden Guernsey.

With the purchase of Boer  and Golden Guernsey Bucks, breeding and further goat purchases followed.

The 2.5 acre field was now getting over-crowded.

Suzie and Jonty attended a Cheese Making Workshop (http://www.thecheesemakingworkshop.co.uk) where Mandy Nolan ran fabulous cheese making courses in Poling near Worthing .Following this course, Suzie and Jonty embarked on creating their raw goat’s milk cheese making enterprise.They travelled all over the UK looking for a suitable location eventually  Suzie’s Yorkshire roots brought them back to Yorkshire ,Jonty’s favourite location was the North York Moors and they settled at Abbey farm cottage in Rosedale Abbey, 

In June 2019, Suzie and Jonty took possession of Abbey Farm Cottage, a small farm with 10 acres of land, and moved the herd of 49 goats, 10 ducks, 20 chickens, 3 horses, 4 dogs and 2 cats.

Abbey Farm Cottage sits in the spectacular valley of Rosedale, 200 metres from the village of Rosedale Abbey with its two pubs, two café’s and a village shop.

Suzie and Jonty started to commercialise the making of their goat dairy products in 2020,with approval  finally being  granted September 2023.

 

The cheeses  are available from both the  farm and  local delis.

Our two cheeses The Rosedale and Bell End Blue are on the  the menu of  the One  Star Michelin  restaurant The Star Inn at Harome, and its sibling establishments in York,

The Rosedale is on the menu at Homestead Goatland a restaurant in the 2023 Michelin Guide 

Both Cheeses are also on the menu of our local pub The White Horse farm Inn

Suzie and Jonty look forward to sharing our vision with you and perhaps, after completing one of our cheese courses, you might be inclined to follow a similar path as us.

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