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Let’s Celebrate: Cheese Rolling Day

On Monday 29 May, 2023, Gloucestershire, England will hold it’s wonderfully wacky national Cheese Rolling event.

Attracting people from all over the world who are determined to keep the world-famous tradition alive, Cooper’s Hill has played host to the Cheese Rolling extravaganza since the 1800s.

The first written evidence of cheese rolling is found from a message written to the Gloucester town crier in 1826; even then it was apparent the event was an old tradition, and is believed to be at least six hundred years old. Some say it started because it was about claiming grazing rights on the common and land around Cooper’s Hill, others believe it could have been a fertility ritual, but there is no firm evidence to what is correct. Nowadays, cheese rolling is officially an extreme sport.

Participants come from around the world to take part in the only vertical cheese chase in existence, which sees competitors slip, slide and roll, but mostly fall, down Cooper’s Hill after a wheel of Double Gloucester that travels at speeds of up to 70mph. The cheese is released by the Master of Cheese, who has even made their sacred journey to the top of the hill with a broken leg in recent years. The winner is the first person to cross the finish line at the bottom, where a team of Brockworth rugby players await to stop runners’ momentum with a well-timed tackle.

Some contenders sadly don’t make it all the way down though, with the highest injury toll in recent years occurring in 1997, when 33 competitors were treated for everything from splinters to broken bones!

If you are feeling courageous and fancy your chances at the cheese, all you have to do is turn up Monday, May 29, at noon to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, England.

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