In our half-acre orchard near Wessington we have 49 trees, including two morello cherry trees and a couple of pear trees (William and Comice). We have space for a fair few more trees and smaller orchards elsewhere across the estate and once we see how this orchard establishes we will look to expand our plantings.
This page will tell you a little about the Derbyshire varieties of apple trees that we have in the orchard.
We believe that we are the only orchards anywhere outside the National Collection in Kent that has all of the Derbyshire varieties of apple trees. These are the Derbyshire varieties:
Beeley Pippin A variety with a strong local connection being from the nearby village of Beeley, once very much in the heart of the Chatsworth Estate. Dates to 1880 and raised by the Rev. C. Scunthorpe of Beeley. A creamy yellow coloured, juicy flesh aromatic with a good flavour but do not apparently keep very well, which may well explain their demise with other better keepers available out there.
Belledge Pippin Another local variety from Derby and dating to 1818, which I am researching in more detail. Apparently well suited to dessert or culinary uses and a good keeper and described as 'An excellent but not first rate apple' in Hoggs (1851), 'The British Pomology'.
Newton Wonder A South Derbyshire variety, an excellent cooker and consequently not as rare as the two above. Apparently raised by Mr Taylor of King's Newton, Melbourne in the 1880s from Blenheim Orange X Dumelow's Seedling and received a RHS First Class Certificate in 1887. Has a good acid flavour and holds its shape when cooked. It's a good doer locally and we've added two more trees in 2016.
New Bess Pool A special local (Derbyshire) variant of Bess Pool, a Nottinghamshire variety. Raised by J. Stevens of Stanton-by-dale sometime before 1850.
Lambs Seedling Planted in 2014 this is the last of the Derbyshire varieties to complete our collection and specially grafted by the National Collection at Brogdale, Kent. Raised around 1866 by the Head gardener at Meynell Langley, Derby - seat of the Meynell family, Mr Joseph Lamb.
Lord Derby We added this tree in 2016 because it may be a local variety, or is a variety that certainly has links with this County. Apparently from Cheshire, so perhaps close enough to be able to claim some genesis in Derbyshire. This Victorian variety is a sharp cooking apple that purees nicely.
Other important local varieties include:
Bess Pool We have a couple of these important East Midlands varieties too. Both Bess Pool and New Bess Pool are dessert apples. Supposedly named after their discoverer, the daughter of a local inn keeper Bess Pool, in a wood in Nottinghamshire and later introduced as a variety by a Chilwell nurseryman, Mr J R Pearson and first recorded in 1824. Sweet flavoured dessert apple that has a dry mouth feel that keeps reasonably well. Apparently late to flower.
Isaac Newton Tree Cuttings from the one and only world famous apple tree from Grantham that gave us gravity. Actually a Flower of Kent. Tending towards being a bit undersized here Wessington but we'll persist with it and see how we go.
Duke of Devonshire Sounds like this should be a local apple tree but it is in fact from Holker Hall, Cumbria, and was a tree created by the Dukes gardener Wilson, to honour him around 1835. A russeted sweet apple believed to be related to Ashmead's Kernel.
Egremont Russet From Surrey, this is the quintessential English russet with a beautifully balanced flavour developed by the Victorians. Despite russets being largely frowned upon because of their rough looking skins this is still considered one of the finest eating apples and has a loyal following.
Northwood also known as Woodbine a Vintage sweet cider variety
Red Stoke Bittersharp variety
Black Dabinett Bittersweet variety. See photo right.
And the delightfully named Slack Ma Girdle, which is a sweet variety.
Other trees are Egremont Russet, William Pear, Commice Pear and a couple of Morello Cherry trees. The birds are particularly keen on the cherry trees but fear not, this year we have nets!
I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who has these trees in their gardens. I want to know what you think about these trees and their fruits.
Click on Contact to get in touch.
Copyright Wessington Cider 2016