BEDFORDSHIRE FOUNDLING A large cooking apple which arose around 1800, with yellow skin, flushed orange. The flesh keeps its shape when cooked and has a full, rich flavour. It crops well, is ripe in October and stores until March. Vigorous, spreading trees, with large attractive blossom. It has also been used for cider.

Pollination Group 4

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

BEISLY CODLING A very old tree introduced to us by Marian Volins of Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The apple is named Beisly Codling after her grandfather, Mr Beisly, a watchmaker whose house and shop was in Old Wallingford town. Her house was built in the 1850s and the tree could have been planted then or perhaps predated the building. Her family have been there for over 100 years. Her grandmother just called it ‘the Codling’ or ‘Catshead’, though it is not the Catshead of modern knowledge. The tree has changed little for the past 80 years. An excellent apple, ripening in August and September, though not dropping. It cooks quickly and keeps its shape, but would reduce to a purée if wanted, needing little or no sugar, and has a pleasant lemony flavour. Most apples do not keep for long though some can last into December. A profuse bearer with rich pink blossom. * Pollination Group 4

 

BELLE DES JARDINS A lovely old apple, known in the early 19th century, originating near Paris, and seemingly lost after 1895, though we have now found it in an American collection and produced new trees. John Scott in Somerset described it in 1872 as a top quality apple - ‘A magnificent large apple, with tender melting flesh’. A beautifully coloured, late season dessert apple, ripe in October/November and lasting to January with care, though we agree with Scott that it is best used as soon as ripe. Crisp, sweet, rich and juicy in late October, tending to soften and develop the flavour of brandy in November.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BELLEDGE PIPPIN First recorded in 1818, it was in the London Horticultural Society catalogues of 1826 and 1842, and described by Ronalds, Lindley and Hogg. It still exists in the National Collection and in private collections. Descriptions are mostly consistent, though Lindley says it is ‘free from angles’ and the National Apple Register calls it ‘slightly ribbed’. Said to be local to Derbyshire, it is a small to medium sized, round fruit, narrowing at the crown and with green skin, ripening to yellow with grey russet flecks. It becomes flushed with brown in the sun. The flesh is ‘greenish-yellow, tender, soft, brisk, sugary, and aromatic', according to Hogg. Normally ripe in October, by mid November it is sweet and with a very powerful flavour, though the flesh is a bit dry in the mouth and perhaps not always as tender as Hogg says. It will store to February. It is dual purpose and when cooked it keeps its shape completely, not giving up any juice. The flesh is sweet, pleasantly acid and in no need of sugar. It makes an excellent open tart. T*.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

BELVOIR SEEDLING Existing before 1935 when it was received by the National Fruit Trials. It was raised by W. H. Divers, probably at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, as a cross between Annie Elizabeth and Dumelow’s Seedling. A medium sized dual purpose apple, in use from October to April. Flattened round, sometimes ribbed at the open and distinctive eye and often with a fleshy protuberance at the stalk. The skin is yellow, flushed brown and red with some russet and dots. The flesh is firm, fine and yellowish-white with a sweet, subacid flavour. It cooks to a lively purée. Our thanks to John and Helen Hempsall for sending scion-wood.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

BENWELL’S LARGE An old ‘lost’ apple, first recorded in 1826, when it was in the collection of the London Horticultural Society. In the 1842 edition it was described as green, roundish, large and of indifferent quality. In use in December. It was not revealed whether it was of culinary, dessert or cider use. It was last heard of in Britain in 1872 when the name appeared in the supplemental apples of Scott’s ‘Orchardist’. We rediscovered it at Grove Farm Research Station, Tasmania and they sent scions to us in 2005. It has yet to bear fully formed fruit with us, but appears to be better than ‘indifferent’, both as a dessert and a culinary apple. We hope to give a full description in time. Spur bearing. **

Pollination Group 5

 

BERKELEY PIPPIN Presumed originating at Berkeley, Gloucestershire,and known at the start of the 20th century, when considered a cider variety. Ripe in late October or into November and nicely sweet but the flesh is a little dry and a bit spongy. There is little acid but the flavour is good. It is perhaps better suited as a cider sweet. Medium sized, flattened round, often conical and irregular. The skin is dull green with red stripes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BERNWODE CRAB Malus Sylvestris. Wild Crab. The Wild Crab is either a British native or colonised Britain shortly after the Ice Age. The sour fruit has long been used for a variety of purposes, including the making of Verjuice, a fermented liquor, used in cooking and to cure ailments. It was also planted as a foodstuff for livestock. The Bernwode Crab is a very old tree in our ancient hedge, abutting a mediaeval, perhaps Roman, drove road. Trees are grafted on to MM111 and MM106 only and will, by their nature, become small trees with a shapely and spreading habit. Small yellow fruits are ripe in late October and hang on the tree for several weeks. They can be stored over the winter. *

Pollination Group 3

 
             

 

BESS POOL Named Bess Pool after the daughter of an innkeeper. She found this wild seedling, laden with fruit, growing in a wood in Nottinghamshire around 1700. It became popular locally after she brought the fruit back to her father’s inn. Later it was nationally known and much valued in the nineteenth century, following its first formal recording in 1824 and marketing by Pearson's Nurseries of Chilwell. Ronalds (1831) ascribed it to Warwickshire, while Loudon in 1820 called it ‘A Welch Apple’. A crisp dessert apple, with medium-sized fruit, heavily marked with crimson and with a rich flavour. It may also be used for cooking and for cider. Apples keep until the next year, before deteriorating. The trees have a good shape. Partially tip bearing.

Pollination Group 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEVERLEY APPLE An impressive cooking apple of great beauty, and one of those rare discoveries that appears to have no written history. Liz Carter of Burton Neston, in the Wirral of Cheshire, approached Pete Steepe, of Burton Manor, to identify her unusual old apple. He was very impressed with it and passed the details to us for our opinion. It was quite obviously different to any we have seen. Liz has provided us with a full provenance. The earliest known tree was growing in the garden where Liz was a child over 70 years ago, in Beverley, East Yorkshire. The house had been sited in the gardens of Lairgate Hall, which was built around 1700, probably by the Walker family. The garden/estate was sold off for housing in 1938 and a major road now passes through it, the site being fully developed. On returning, a few years ago, Liz found that the old tree had gone. When her family moved to Cheshire, her father brought and planted another, currently in her garden. “The apple has such a delicious flavour – much tastier than my Bramley”. It is a medium sized apple, beautifully dark red, with a glossy, waxy skin, long and tapering and ripe in late September, when it produces an excellent sweet and rich purée, though it will keep some shape if cooked lightly. It does not last much past the end of November. It is also one of those types of apple (called Burr Knot or Pitcher) that will readily root from cuttings, In these cases, cuttings were usually passed around and trees appeared in numbers, locally. It is a surprise that this excellent apple has not been noted before. Our thanks to Liz Carter and Pete Steepe for keeping it going and telling us all about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK GILLIFLOWER It has been known since the early 1700s in America and old trees are still found in the South. Calhoun, in Old Southern Apples, thinks it identical to the old southern apple, Crow’s Egg, that he has found in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. There is also a northern states’ Crow’s Egg and other non-American ones, including the English Crowes Egg of Parkinson (1629). The early history is obscure and Black Gilliflower might even be English in origin. A sweet, crisp, moderately juicy dessert apple, with dense flesh, richly flavoured. The shape is distinctive and showy, quite elongated and narrowing at the eye. The skin is green, becoming entirely covered with a dark plum colour in the sun. Ripe in October and best picked as late as possible. It stores until February but is best in November. A very good apple with deep rose pink, stripy blossom. We retrieved it from the US Department of Agriculture collection in 2005. Since writing the above, we have found this apple to be the same as the Lady’s Finger of Hereford sold by us previously, having been wrongly named by others before sending it to us. (The Lady’s Finger of Hereford we now supply is the correct one). The origin of the rogue apple was Bledington in Oxfordshire. Philip Rainford, (who for many years has researched many old fruits of Lancashire and Cumbria) has recorded that a gentleman called Albert Harris, living in the Cotswolds in the 1940s, was very aware of old trees locally around Bledington which were called Lady’s Fingers. He thought they were planted around the middle of the 19th century, though they could have been much older. He grafted and distributed trees. In modern times the variety has been given the name of Lady’s Finger of Bledington. However, since we now know it is the same as Black Gilliflower, which has no separate history of having been grown in Britain under that name (though Gilliflower is such an English word) we must now assume that Black Gilliflower finally has some evidence of being an English, not an American, apple. It presumably lost its name here in centuries past and became known as Lady’s Finger locally. Since Black Gilliflower is a much earlier name, this is the one we retain.

Pollination Group 3