A HORWICH firm has created a special batch of mead to coincide with the 800th anniversary of the signing of one of the most famous documents in the world.

To commemorate the signing of the Magna Carta, The Lancashire Mead Company is producing a specific type of mead that is more like the kind that would have been drunk in the 13th century.

After being invited to a number of living history events featuring re-enactors and role play trade fairs linked with the anniversary, brewer Gordon Baron decided to produce a product more in keeping with historic times.

The Magna Carta, meaning The Great Charter, was signed in 1215 by King John in the midst of political crisis, and remains a key part of the British constitution.

For the first time, the document established that everyone including the monarchy is subject to the law, with the famous 39th clause giving all "free men" the right to justice and a fair trial.

Mr Baron, who originally set up the firm in Hampson Street in October 2013, said: “I decided that I had to produce a mead that was more authentic to the 13th century.

"Yeasts available then would have been similar to bread yeasts, rather than the specialised brewing yeasts we have today.

"Many would have relied on wild airborne yeasts propagating and fermenting the honey and water mixture.

"I created this special mead at 12.5 per cent ABV by purposefully fermenting three different batches at different strengths and blending them together. As with all my meads, it will be unique.”

The Mayor of Horwich, Cllr Richard Silvester, who officially launched the product, said: "Without Magna Carta, we would not have the mayoral system in place."

Mr Baron decided to set up the firm because he said there was a lack of "real" mead on the market, with its production process using only honey, instead of using a white wine base, which is used by most manufacturers.

The firm's mead is now supplied at iconic London restaurant Claridge's and at L’Enclume in Cartmel, which is run by Michelin starred chef Simon Rogan.

Mr Rogan's executive chef, Mark Birchall, spotted the drink in the summer of 2014, and it is sold in his Fera at Claridge's restaurant at Claridge's.

Mead is thought to be the oldest known alcoholic drink to mankind, dating back 9,000 years, and it has been popularised in the work of authors JRR Tolkien and George RR Martin, who wrote Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones respectively.