Sherborne-based business Oxford’s Bakery has created a unique biscuit marking the town’s connection with Sir Walter Raleigh.
Available from the bakery shop for £1 each, the all-butter biscuit is decorated with a hidden code, recently discovered on the top left-hand corner of a Sir Walter Raleigh portrait that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
The decorative code, depicted on the biscuits in sugar, cinnamon and ginger, features a sea of waves over a crescent moon. It is believed to represent Raleigh’s willingness to be controlled by his monarch, Queen Elizabeth, in the same way the moon controls the tides.
Steve Oxford, owner of the business, told British Baker the bakery is a tenant of Castle Estates, which features two castles that makes the town famous and was the home of Sir Walter. So it seemed fitting to produce the biscuits, he explained.
“We wanted to replicate some of the popular spices at that time such as ginger,” he said. “We made small batches of the biscuits and stencilled on various sugars and spice mixes on top and it came out really nicely.”
The 16th century ‘New’ Castle was built by Raleigh after Queen Elizabeth leased him the Old Castle when he had fallen in love with Sherborne, which he called ‘Fortune’s Fold’.
Oxford added that, locally, the biscuit was a hit with customers.
Oxford’s Bakery is 106 years old and is described as the bakery that everyone comes to in Sherborne.