Kingsley and Susie moved to North Yorkshire from their narrowboat in London with their cat Frank. Leaving his job in the music business, Kingsley started helping out with the pigs and fruit on a country estate near Masham, and decided to try and make something from the apples that were otherwise going to waste... and Thornborough Cider was born.
Since then we have relocated to a former smallholding and converted the barn into a cider mill where we press, ferment and bottle all our cider. We have discovered new and old orchards around the area, as well as planting our own five acre orchard just down the road.
We believe in letting nature do most of the work, in the orchard and in the fermentation tanks. What started out as intuition (let the weeds grow, leave the cider alone) has become a philosophy... minimal intervention, light touch, call it what you will.
Thornborough Cider is a true cottage industry where the cider mill and our family house sit side-by-side - there are cider tanks next to the peonies, tractors by the washing line and kids bikes propped up against pallets of bottles. In spring it's glorious, in autumn it's chaos, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
Come and take a look sometime!
We aim to minimise the use of plastic in our operations and supply chains
We use glass bottles with a high recycled content
Our bottles are packaged straight into cardboard with no plastic wrapping
All our disposable tasting and drinking cups are plant-based and compostable
100% of the energy we use comes from renewable sources
Our cider shed is unheated and lit with low-energy LED bulbs
We have a couple of vintage tractors for working in the orchard, powered by diesel, but used only when necessary
We have a small number of electric machines used to mill the apples (2.2kW), press the pulp (1.5kW), label our bottles and pump cider around the shed
There are very few waste products from the cider making process and we re-use as much as possible
All of our left over apple pulp goes to feed local livestock or to mulch the trees in the orchard
Non-chemical waste water is used to irrigate plants and trees around the orchard and garden
Prunings from our trees are left on the ground to feed the animals and the soil
Winner: Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Maker Competition 2020/21
Winner: Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards 2019
Silver: Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition 2017