The dairying industry became an increasingly important sector of the agricultural economy in the later 17th century. Joan Thirsk, England's Agricultural Regions and Agrarian History, 1500–1750 (1987), indicates the specialist dairying areas at that time. The trade in butter grew rapidly in the late 17th and 18th centuries, alongside that of cheese. It was a particular feature of the northern Vale of York and south Durham, with exports through the river ports at Stockton and Yarm, where the vernacular architecture reflects the prosperity of that period. See also John Broad, ‘Regional Perspectives and Variations in English Dairying, 1650–1850’, in R. W. Hoyle (ed.), People, Landscape and Alternative Agriculture: Essays for Joan Thirsk (Agricultural History Review, suppl., 3 (2004).
See G. E. Mingay (ed.), The Agrarian History of England and Wales, vi: 1750–1850 (1989), for further growth in sales of butter, cheese, and milk from town dairies. Many farms in the neighbourhood of industrial towns began to specialize in milk production. The railways had an enormous influence on milk sales. See Christine Hallas, ‘Supply Responsiveness in Dairy Farming: Some Regional Considerations’, Agricultural History Review, 39/1 (1991), which discusses the impact of the railway in Wensleydale in the late 19th century. See also David Taylor, ‘Growth and Structural Change in the English Dairy Industry, c.1860–1930’, Agricultural History Review, 35/1 (1987). Joanna Bourke, ‘Dairywomen and Affectionate Wives: Women in the Irish Dairy Industry, 1890–1914’, Agricultural History Review, 38/2 (1990), demonstrates the importance of milking and butter‐making in the rural Irish economy, and shows how work that was once everywhere in the hands of women became dominated by men working in creameries. See also Deborah Valenze, ‘The Art of Women and the Business of Men: Women's Work and the Dairy Industry, c.1740–1840’, Past and Present, 130 (1991).