History of Coopers Hill Cheese Roll

Cheese Rolling is one of the oldest customs to have survived in Great Britain. It's been going on for hundreds of years and some say it has its roots in pre-Roman times.

Today it is as popular as ever and the record-breaking crowds turn out in large numbers at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire to watch yet more brave souls risk life and limb chasing after a 7lb Double Gloucester cheese. The winner gets to keep the cheese they've chased after!

Cooper's Hill was something akin to a Roman coliseum as the crowd began eagerly chanting 'Roll that Cheese' and baying for the first race to get underway. You could sense the excitement as the 'Gladiators' lined up at the top of the hill, awaiting the signal from the master of ceremonies.

The lure of participating in what could very well be called Gloucestershire's most extreme 'sport' can be put down to the absolute adrenaline thrill of taking on such a steep and treacherous incline.

Some people win, some merely finish and many get injured - this year saw a number of broken bones, sprains and minor injuries - but all look back on the cheese rolling experience with fond memories. For all those taking part in this potentially dangerous race it seems to be a risk worth taking.

Cheese rolling is a tradition that has its roots in the ancient history of our country - it's something that seems to represent the British identity.