Cream Jars from Rathlahine Farm

Before the days of refrigeration, milk and cream needed to be consumed while fresh, within a day in warm weather, perhaps two to three in cold winter conditions. The shelf life of cream could be greatly extended by adding at least half its weight in sugar and then sealing tightly. The product was marketed as ‘Sweet Cream’.

Cream jars from Ralahine Farm. John O’Brien


The two cream jars shown here come from the dairy of Rathlahine Farm, operated by the Stoney Family throughout the later part of the nineteenth century till about 1920.  Mrs Stoney’s name was formerly Lucy Vandeleur, whose grandfather John Scott Vaddeleur set up the Ralahine Commune in 1831. The precise date of these jars is unknown but it is likely that they date from the post commune era.

The writer would like to thank Freddie Burke for loaning the jars for this contribution.

Comments about this page

  • Does anyone know how they used clay pots to make the jars?

    It’s a limestone region.

    By Fintan Meehan (26/04/2023)
  • Hello John
    I’m glad the little article shed some light on your relation Mr Stoney.
    I’d be very glad to know more about the Stoneys and the farm at Ralahine.
    I wonder if you have any sources of information?
    John O’Brien

    By johnobrien (14/09/2021)
  • Thank you for bringing this to my attention as Mrs Stoney’s husband was my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, and I was unaware of the connection to John Scott Vandeleur and Ralahine.

    By John Goodwillie (07/09/2021)

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