BAZELEY A rare and old Buckinghamshire variety originating at, and now only found around ‘The Lee’ near Great Missenden. It has also been called Baseley, Baysley or Bezeley, the origin being that it was deemed the 'Best of the Lee'. At one time, most of the farms and cottages had a Bazeley. It was brought to notice by the late Susan Cowdy (of the Liberty family, owners of the London store). She said the apple was much used in olden days for mincemeat and mince pies, due to its sharpness and suitable texture, staying intact when cooked. We first learnt of it from a former employee and friend, Sylvia Firnberg, who brought scion wood to us from the tree of the actor Geoffrey Palmer, of Hunt's Green. A cooking apple, turning yellow, that in most years also attains top quality as an eating apple, even when first ripe. It sweetens with storage. Crisp, sweet, acid and richly flavoured, when cooked. Late season. It freely bears spurs and fruits prolifically. When cut, the flesh does not discolour. * Pollination Group 5

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

BEACHAMWELL Mr Motteux of Beachamwell, in Norfolk, raised it, probably in the mid 18th century. The fruit is small with a dark green skin, ripening to pale yellow, tinged red on the sunny side, with occasional russet. The yellow flesh is juicy and Hogg calls it “a rich and deliciously flavoured dessert apple, of the highest excellence”. Bunyard, in 1920, reported that it was almost out of cultivation, though old trees can still be found locally. Ripe by November and lasting to April, it is a hardy, good bearer. It can be rather variable in appearance and the amount of russet. Free spurring. Pollination Group 4

 

BEAUTY OF BATH One of the most popular early dessert apples for well over a hundred years, sometimes eaten as early as July. It was introduced in 1864 by Cooling’s nursery, of Bath, though it was probably raised earlier. Small, brightly coloured fruit, which is sweet when fully ripe but also has a good tang. Crisp and juicy if eaten straight from the tree, but the fruit soon softens and will not store. Heavy crops, though the trees flower early and the blossom may be damaged by frost. Good for cordons, as the trees readily form fruiting spurs. The fruit may drop suddenly and straw was once placed under the trees as a precaution against damage. Part tip-bearing.

Pollination Group 3

 

BEAUTY OF BEDFORD A mid-season dessert apple, raised by Laxtons of Bedford in the early twentieth century. Lady Sudeley x Beauty of Bath. A very colourful, medium sized fruit, with a crisp texture and good flavour. Ripe in September, it will store for a month or so.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEAUTY OF FRINGFORD One of three old apples growing in a small orchard at the Old Rectory, built in 1680, in the pretty village of Fringford, Oxfordshire. Brought to our attention by the owner, Charles Hebditch, none of these apples appear to be varieties currently known. Fringford owes some celebrity to it being the fictional ‘Candleford Green’ created by Flora Thompson in ‘Larkrise to Candelford’. She lived at Fringford and worked in the post office there, in her early adulthood. This small dessert apple is prettily and heavily streaked with crimson and is ripe in early October. It is very juicy, sweet and quite fragrant, with the rich flavour of pear drops. Acidity is modest. A very tasty apple, which keeps its flavour if stored into November, but tends to shrink.

Pollination Group 5

 

 
             

 

BEAUTY OF HANTS A seedling of Blenheim Orange, raised near Southampton, Hants, by Mrs Crabbe in her garden at Bassett before 1850. It is similar in appearance to Blenheim but redder and sweeter. This late dessert apple has sweet firm flesh and stores until January. More freely spurring than Blenheim, so it is a better option for espaliers and cordons. The apples can be significantly larger than Blenheim. T*

Pollination Group 4

 

 

BEAUTY OF KENT A late culinary apple, known since 1790. It was a firm Victorian favourite on account of its large size. When cooked it keeps its shape, needs no sugar and is very rich. After brief storage it is sweet enough to eat as a dessert fruit, and in some years it is an excellent dessert apple when first ripe. The blossom is very large and rosy pink. Good crops. T*.

Pollination Group 4

 

BECKLEY BELLE An old tree, by itself, in the garden of Rick and Ali Kealy, on the High Street of Beckley village, near Oxford. A medium sized eating apple, ripe between the end of September and early October, with crisp, crunchy flesh, sweet, with just the right amount of acid and with a trace of banana flavour. In a normal autumn and winter it will last to the year end. Quite an attractive apple and seemingly a very good bearer. Named by Rik and Ali, as attempts at identification with any known apple were exhausted.

 
             

 

BECKLEY RED - There are two quite different Beckley Red apples in adjacent gardens in Horton cum Studley, close to Oxford. The village of Beckley is two miles away but the name, despite enquiry, seems unknown there. The two gardens concerned are opposite the mediaeval Studley Priory and they may once have been part of an attached orchard. There are several old fruit trees there. Both owners were told by their predecessors that their apple was called Beckley Red. Both are stunning red and have an equal claim to the name.
BECKLEY RED (BEW)
Owned by Mr and Mrs Freddie Bew, their tree was substantially old when they arrived half a century ago. The medium sized apple is oval, with flattened ends, regular and smooth, heavily covered with glossy dark crimson with a hint of darker stripes, over a pale yellow skin. It is usually first ripe in September and keeps to the end of the year. The flesh is very white, firm, not particularly juicy but tender, a little sharp, and a sweet eating apple when fully ripe. A very striking apple. *

Pollination Group 4

 

BECKLEY RED (HOLCROFT) Owned by John and Judy Holcroft, the tree looks a good century old. It is an early season apple, not keeping beyond September, medium sized, flat, round and almost all covered with deep glossy red, over a green skin. It is crisp, sweet and with a rich flavour. The flesh is streaked and flushed with carmine. *

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BÉDAN-DES-PARTS A Norman cider apple imported by the Woolhope Club of Hereford in 1884, and widely used in the Herefordshire cider industry, though it also became widely grown in Somerset. According to Hogg it became the most highly regarded cider variety of the time because of the richness and colour of the juice. It was raised by Monsieur M. Legrand of Yvetot and first fruited in 1874. It is a late bittersweet with juicy, small, irregular conical fruits. The skin is pale yellow/green, flushed red in the sun. It was last recorded at the Apple and Pear Conference of 1934 and appeared to have been lost in Britain. USDA received it from Calvados in 1937 and sent it to us in 2005. Spur bearing. Very late into blossom and leaf. **

Pollination Group 7