Dorset Knob Biscuit Competition

dorset knob biscuit competition

A Dorset knob biscuit – have you heard of it? And did you know there is such a thing as a Dorset knob biscuit competition?!

What is a Dorset knob biscuit?

A Dorset knob is a dry, savoury, biscuit that has been made by the company Moores for more than 150 years.

Well, according to Moores biscuits, the Dorset knob started life sometime before 1860 when the Moores family began baking in West Dorset.

Dorset knobs are made by adding butter and sugar to the leftover dough and hand rolling them in small buttons. They were then baked in the dying heat of the bread oven to dry them out like rusks.

The biscuits are made from leftover bread dough, with added sugar and butter and rolled and shaped by hand.

A crumbly texture is created by baking it three times.

Dorset knob buttons are the inspiration for the name, another traditionally handmade item, allegedly. However, some think it is because they are often compared in shape and size to door knobs.    

How do you eat these Dorset delights?

They are eaten with cheese, dipped in tea or cider, or with honey and tea which is known as ‘thunder and lightning’ by locals.  

What is the Dorset knob biscuit competition?

The Dorset knob-throwing contest involves competitors hurling a traditional Dorset knob – a hard bread-based biscuit – as far as they can. The record throw of 29.4 metres (96 ft) was set in 2012. That’s a big throw!

However, the competition has been cancelled for 2022. This is now the third year in a row the organisers have been forced to cancel; in 2020 there was no venue available and in 2021 Covid put an end to the festivities.

But this year organisers have admitted that the event, due to be held on 1 May in Cattistock alongside the Frome Valley food festival, has become too popular for the organisers to manage.

There is also a knob-eating competition, knob-painting (yes, really!), a knob & spoon race, ‘guess the weight’ of a big knob, and even a knob pyramid held at the event.

A statement on Facebook from the Dorset knob-throwing committee said: “It is with great sadness that the Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley food festival is unable to go ahead on 1 May 2022.

“We had over 8,000 people attend the 2019 event, meaning it has reached such a size that it simply cannot be run by a small village committee. We’ve looked at various options but sadly couldn’t make any of them work for this year for many reasons.”

“We hope the event can return in years to come.”

Knob rules

The rules for the contest are as follows, according to the committee:

  • Three Dorset knobs per go, furthest knob thrown is measured

  • Use only Dorset Knobs that are provided

  • Standing throw from marked standing point

  • Underarm throwing only

  • One foot must remain on the ground during throwing

  • Distance of the furthest knob only measured within the designated throwing zone, which is 5 metres wide x 32 metres long.

  • Dorset knob measured at final resting place

  • If Dorset knob breaks upon landing it will be the umpire’s decision of final resting place


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Image taken from Moores Facebook and is property of Moores.

Sophie Whittaker

Sophie Whittaker

Job Role: Marketing | Tea: With milk, half a sugar (specific), and fairly strong Loves a chai tea. | Favourite biscuit: Too many!