Charles Martell & Son Ltd

Charles Martell & Son Ltd

Producer: Charles Martell & Son Ltd, Gloucestershire
Product: Stinking Bishop
Region: South West, Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly
Category: From the Dairy (Artisan)

What they do
The Martell family has been in Gloucestershire since 1100AD. When Charles Martell returned to the region in 1972, it was to attempt to save the endangered rare-breed Old Gloucester cows from extinction by returning them to their original purpose: being milked for cheese. Today these cows are joined on the farm by a number of other rural breeds. Charles also researched and revived the making of single gloucester cheese, which had died out. 

The family-run business, based in the small village of Dymock, has been producing stinking bishop cheese by hand since 1994. Washing the rind in perry as it matures helps to create the cheese’s infamous aroma, a “pungent smell which belies its mild taste”. Despite its fame and popularity, Charles Martell & Son operates a low-volume production process to maintain high quality, making a maximum of just over half a tonne of cheese per week. 

Supporting other local farmers and small businesses is important to the team. When buying milk in is necessary, the company use Cotteswold Dairy in nearby Tewkesbury, a similarly small family farm with whom they have traded for 30 years. 

Charles Martell & Son’s stinking bishop is available through independent farm shops and delicatessens. The team say, “Limited by production, but not limited in outstanding flavour; we believe our stinking bishop cheese certainly is one to try when it comes to artisan British cheese.”

What the judges said
The judges thought that Charles Martell & Son’s stinking bishop cheese makes great use of local ingredients, particularly the washing of the cheese in local perry. 

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