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A Short History

Of The Farm

A Short History

In 1954, Mr Dowson’s grandfather bought Hawkshaw Farm with 54 acres and 12 cows, 200 chickens and one old tractor. We milked cows and the milk was taken to a large dairy to be bottled into pints and dropped at your door, by local milkmen.


In the 1970s, the Dowson family become their own dairy, buying a pasteurising machine and building a new dairy to house the bottling plant, back then milk was in glass bottles. Over the years this small dairy grew and the farm grew with it to become the home to over 200 dairy cows, farming over 250 acres, employing over 40 people and filling over 5,000,000 pints of milk a year. The dairy kept growing giving the Dowson family the chance to support other dairy farms in the area and they bought in milk from other farms to supply the growing demand.


The Dowsons worked with local milkmen and women to ensure local milk was delivered to local houses.

In 2001 after the decline of the glass bottled milk industry as customers moved to the easier and more convenient plastic alternatives the Dowsons were faced with a dilemma, invest in new plastic bottling plants, or do something new, something unique.

As you probably can guess they chose the second option, and so began Mrs Dowsons Ice Cream. With our families already existent enthusiasm and love for ice cream, there was only one clear option. As soon as we could, we gathered the equipment to create the tastiest, most natural ice cream possible.


We first started dabbling with ice cream recipes in the spring of 2001, it wasn’t until months later that all the family was happy with the mix that they put the Dowson name on the pot.

From then onwards the Dowson brand has grown to become one of the largest independent quality ice cream manufactures in the North West. We still hold the same ethos of quality, natural ingredients and supporting all that is good about Lancashire and its producers.


In 2008 Mrs Dowsons passion for education was realised with the construction of the Visitor Centre located next to the main working farm at Hawkshaw Farm, and naturally they called the Visitor Centre “Mrs Dowsons”, it has grown in its short history to be both a home for educating schools and groups about local produce and supporting the Field to Fork approach to food as well as being a fun and exciting place for children (and fun-loving adults) to come and meet our farm animals in a safe environment. In 2012, Mrs Dowson’s hard work in producing and promoting local quality products was commended with a Food Hero Award from Lancashire Life, one of the most sort after and respected awards in the food industry.



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