Torrington Dairy Crest Creamery (Taddiport) | Books and Media | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Torrington Dairy Crest Creamery (Taddiport)


LED Crazy
28DL Full Member
North Devon Journal, 10th June 2010.


The pic in the actual paper copy does not do the site justice - we could have supplied a better pic :thumb

I guess if you want to do this site, or want one more visit, you should go!

Speaking to a few people, it seems the site is now owned by the bank, not a private company, and as such will be secured while planning is put through. The planning application is due to be changed to include industrial units aswell as housing, which is favoured by the local council, so this site could soon change.....quickly!

No mention of Urban Explorers unfortunately!

Copy and pasted in case it vanishes:

THE COMPANY which owns the former creamery in Taddiport near Torrington has gone into receivership.

The site was once the town's biggest employer, but has more recently become a blot on the area's landscape.

Newton Abbot-based company Kingscourt Homes Ltd had plans to redevelop the site.

However, the company is now in the hands of the receivers, according to Companies House.

The sole director of the company, Ian Robert Mitchell lives in Phuket, Thailand and Kingscourt Homes' phone line is no longer connected. However, its website is still running.

Torrington councillor, Geoff Lee, told the town council the owners of the Torridge Vale Creamery site had gone into liquidation.

He said: "But every cloud does have a silver lining. Torridge District Council's planning officers are meeting with HSBC, who I understand have taken over the site.

"They are looking at plans for the site and something is likely to happen more quickly than it was going to before."

A planning application to build 125 homes on the site was refused by Torridge District Council and its decision was supported by the Planning Inspectorate in January 2008. The refusal centred around the site being predominately used for housing and not employment.

Kingscourt Homes Ltd carried out a public consultation on plans to build 73 new homes, a shop, 11 employment units and a riverside office on the site in October 2009.

However, the plans were never formally submitted to the council.

The derelict site has also plagued local residents as an eye sore.

Some have seen it as an "accident waiting to happen" after debris and steel have been left around the site.

Neighbours have reported groups of youngsters going drinking at the site and there have been calls, backed by police and councillors, for it to be properly secured.

It is understood to have asbestos and has also been the location of two suicides.

Mr Lee later told the Journal: "One of the biggest problems with the site has been it being in private ownership. Hopefully it will now be made safe."

The site shut finished as a dairy in 2006 following the closure of Robert Wiseman Dairies and the loss of 100 jobs to Torrington.

Dairy production in Torrington dates back to 1872 when the old railway line enabled milk to be delivered from Torrington to London in the same day.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great site - I lived a few doors down from the place when I was growing up, and so it was probably my first ever urban explore!

After moving away from the area 6 years ago, I actually made a trip back there last summer. Amazing to see that it's still not been demolished! Good fun site to visit, if anyone finds themselves in the area.

I'll get round to doing a site report for it and uploading my photos, sooner or later...


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Went there the other day, only one way in now! they fenced it all off, but still easy to get it. i live 5 mins away, so anyone who wants to visit it, contact meeee!!!

Mike Sandford

28DL Member
28DL Member
The dairy, originally the Torridge Vale Butter Factory, was started by my great-great-grandfather, Robert Sandford in 1874. In 1932 it was absorbed by the larger Cow & Gate organisation. I think it was around this time the art deco buildings were established. My grandfather (Robert Judd Sandford) & my father (Harold Blatchford Sandford) both owned shares in the Cow & Gate company. I remember in my youth visiting the dairy around 1959/60 when it was still operational.

I visited the dairy again in May 2009, when it was in the derelict state shown in the pictures here. I'm somewhat surprised there is not a preservation order on the more elderly parts of the complex, in particular the spiral staircase near the entrance.

Nearby the factory site is Sandford Gardens, these days houses, but originally the market garden of the Sandford family.

Mike Sandford (March 2013)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for the information. Really interesting to hear from someone who has a personal connection to the site.

I agree, some of the buildings do seem to deserve a little more care. The spiral staircase you mention is particularly attractive, and I really liked the art deco touches to the stairwell that surrounds it.