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The Bell at Stilton - - 58448.jpg
The Bell at Stilton
Grid reference: TL162893
Location: 52°29’21"N, 0°17’33"W
Post town: Peterborough
Postcode: PE7
Local Government
Council: Huntingdonshire
North West Cambridgeshire

Stilton is a village in Huntingdonshire, standing on the old Great North Road, which drove its prosperity in days past. Since 1998 Stilton has been bypassed by the road's successor, the A1(M), from which it can be found a little south of the Norman Cross junction with the A15, access to the main A1(M) being limited. Stilton is 14 miles north of Huntingdon and eight miles south of the city of Peterborough.

Stilton cheese

Stilton cheese

The village's name is world-famous for giving a name to Stilton cheese, "the Queen of Cheeses". Nevertheless, Stilton has never been made in Stilton.

The name of Stilton cheese came from its being sold at the coaching inns in Stilton. In 1722 Daniel Defoe ate some cheese in the village and mentioned that the place was already famous for its cheese. Some say that supplies were obtained from the housekeeper at Quenby Hall [1] at Hungarton in Leicestershire, near Melton Mowbray, and were sold by her brother-in-law to travellers in Stilton's coaching inns, namely The Bell or The Angel[2].

Today Stilton cheese is made in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. The manufacturers of Stilton cheese in these counties received "Protected Geographical Status" in 1996 so that the making of Stilton is limited to these three counties and must use pasteurised milk, and consequently Stilton cheese cannot now be made in Stilton itself.

Defying conventional wisdom about the origins of Stilton, a recipe for a cream cheese made in Stilton in the early 18th century has since been discovered and since more than one type of cheese was usually made, it is possible that a blue cheese was also made in the area.[3]

Stilton village sign

Outside links


  1. Quenby Hall
  2. Stilton Village site
  3. BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme, "Food Myths", 20 September 2009