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Torrington Creamery

November 2013


The Creamery at Torrington was founded by Robert Sandford in 1874 as the Torridge Vale Dairy and Butter Factory. The railway meant that milk and milk products could be sent to markets in the expanding towns and city’s produce was sent as far as London.

During the 1930's the Milk industry in Britian was struggling with price fluctuations and market instability. This resulted in the industry banding together and in partnership with government it formed the milk marketing board, The boards aim was to promote consumption of milk and dairy produce and to guarantee a fixed market price for producers.

By 1932 The creamery had been absorbed by the Cow and Gate company and had expanded significantly. After the second world war the site was extensively reworked and expanded. Much of the impressive facade was built at this time. Production capacity increased, a new milk churn receiving building was built with a large canteen and laboratory’s above it. This was connected to the production area by pipes and an ariel walkway. Products included Pasturised, Condensed and Dried milk, butter, cream, and other dairy products.

By the mid 1970's the Torrington site was being run by Dairy Crest the processing arm of the Milk Marketing Board. They oversaw further expansion and modernisation resulting in a new Separator Room, Boiler house, Drying plant, and milk receiving facility’s.

In 1993 There was a fire on site which damaged the drying plant. This combined with the expected deregulation of the industry was enough to ensure that the site was closed, Resulting in significant local job losses.


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