Historic home of Craster kippers given listed status

A smokehouse which has produced kippers for nearly 170 years has been given Grade II listed status.

The modest stone smokehouse in Craster, Northumberland, has been within the Robson household for greater than a century.

Craster kippers are famend as some of the most effective on the planet however the Robson premises are the final remnant of the North East’s as soon as thriving herring business.

From the mid-1800s to round 1920, most coastal cities and villages would have a smokehouse to protect locally-caught fish for a nationwide and worldwide market, offering shoppers with a wholesome and low-cost meal.

However the business declined with the growing availability of recent fish, relatively than pickled or smoked, with railway connections and higher refrigeration.

Craster, a small fishing village north east of Alnwick, as soon as boasted 4 smokehouses, however the Robson enterprise is now the one remaining one within the North East.

James Robson arrange the enterprise and in 1906 he took over the smokehouse, which was in-built 1856.

Now run by his great-grandson Neil and buying and selling as L Robson and Sons, it nonetheless makes use of the standard strategies of curing the fish.

Workers dangle herring on tenter hooks and the oily fish are smoked for 16 hours by fires fuelled by whitewood shavings and oak sawdust.

The premises, with its smoke-charred roof tiles, has been granted grade II listed status on the advice of Historic England.

Mr Robson stated: “Because the fourth-generation custodian of this enterprise, I’m delighted that the smokehouse has been granted listed status.

“This historic constructing allows us to proceed to supply Craster kippers in the identical approach as my great-grandfather and subsequent generations, guaranteeing their high quality for a few years to come back.”

Sarah Charlesworth, itemizing crew chief for Historic England within the North, stated: “Kippers are an integral half of Craster’s cultural id and the smokehouse is a bodily embodiment of the village’s particular character, in addition to a residing monument to the North East’s historic fishing business.”

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