VENUS PIPPIN An apple said to have been raised around 1800 and possibly from Devon or the Tamar Valley in Cornwall. It was in the London Horticultural Society collection in 1826 though Taylor (1946) said it was an old West Country apple, which was sent to the R.H.S. in 1899 by Mr. Godfrey, of Exmouth (but Taylor was not always right). Bunyard (1920) said it was rather too soft for market use and hardly worth retention (but he was not always right, as well). By consensus it is a dual purpose apple ripe in early August and not lasting beyond September. It is quite sharp early on, cooking to a purée, and becomes a slightly sharp dessert apple briefly, before going over. Medium sized, smooth skinned pale yellow apples with an occasional blush of pink. The flesh is tender, pale yellow and with a ‘refreshing flavour’ according to Bunyard. Vigorous upright growing trees. Pollination Group 5

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

VIOLETTE Black Apple, Black Prince. Known in France by 1628, and in England later that century. Named Violette because of its very dark colour and violet bloom. The flesh is white and crisp and also has a faint taste of violets. Very pretty trees, with good blossom and showy fruit. Heavy crops, ready to pick in mid September and storing for a month or so. Hogg regarded it more as a culinary apple, but it is certainly a good dessert apple.

Pollination Group 2

 

 

VOYAGER A Hertfordshire apple raised in 1952, probably by A.R. King of Barnet, and having Laxton’s Superb as one parent. Sweet flesh, with a rich spicy flavour. Ripe in mid-October, and storing until the end of the year.

Pollination Group 3

 

WADHURST PIPPIN Dating from the early 1800s, it is primarily a culinary apple, but it has also been considered dual purpose and has been used for cider. It is believed to have originated at Wadhurst in Sussex. Scott and Hogg broadly describe it in the same way, though Scott makes no remark about red stripes, and Hogg does. The apple currently known as Wadhurst Pippin is liberally striped, on the sunny side, over a yellow skin. The apples are quite large and conical, though Hogg says ovate, and ribbed on the body and at the eye. The flesh is juicy, crisp, yellowish and acid. Ripe in October and storing into the next year.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

WAGENER An excellent apple from America. It was grown from seed planted at Penn Yan, New York, in 1791, by a nurseryman called Wheeler. His nursery was subsequently bought by Abraham Wagener, who introduced the apple commercially in the mid nineteenth century in America, when it won a prize and become very well known. Thomas Rivers’ nursery, in Hertfordshire, introduced it to England in the second half of the 19th century. It became popular for its crisp, sweet, juicy fruit, which could be used for dessert or cooking. Stores very well, until April.

Pollination Group 2

 
             

 

WALTHAM ABBEY SEEDLING Raised in 1810 by John Barnard at Waltham Abbey. Hogg says it was produced from a seed of Golden Noble while Bunyard says a seed of Holland Pippin. A medium to large cooking apple, which is also sweet enough to be eaten raw when fully ripe in October. The apples contain very little acid. Cooked, it keeps its shape and needs no sugar added. It has been said to keep to December, but the flavour deteriorates by then.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARDINGTON SEEDLING Raised by D. Burchnall, gardener to Lady Wardington, at the village of Wardington, near Banbury, Oxfordshire. It first fruited in 1938. It was a seedling of Cox’s Orange Pippin. The medium sized apples are flattened conic, slightly ribbed at the eye and yellowish green with occasional pink stripes. A middle season dessert apple, that deserves to be near the top of the ‘best dessert apples’ list. Ripe in mid September it is crisp, fine-fleshed, very juicy, sweet, rich and tangy with a hint of pears. By November, it is starting to shrink but is still very good, juicy and with a sweet, lemony flavour.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARDROBES HOUSE A very good old apple, in the small domestic orchard attached to Wardrobes House, in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns. It is a place with a fascinating, if still unresolved history. We were informed of the fruit trees at Wardrobes House when Andrew Freeman, a tree surgeon and keen naturalist undertook some work there. The owners, Tara and Carl Leaver, kindly allowed us to research their trees and have provided much useful information about the House and its history. It is very close to the Tudor ‘Bradenham Manor’. It seems that the unusual name comes from the noble appointment of ‘Keeper of the Wardrobe’ dating from the time of Henry VIII or before and having little to do with clothes, and much to do with Royal accounts. Lord Andrew Windsor, Lord of the Manor of Bradenham was the ‘Keeper of the Wardrobe’ to Henry VIII. His son built Bradenham Manor house. Another thread suggests that the name might denote a place where estate income was due to the Royal ‘Wardrobe’. One might still expect that Lord Windsor would have lived very close to Bradenham, yet no house is known. Interestingly, as Tara pointed out to us, there is a ‘Windsor Hill’ very close to them. The current Wardrobes House has a 16th century chimney and 17th century parts, but any earlier history is unknown. There was once a ‘Little Wardrobes’ and a Wardrobes Farm still exists. The known history of the current house says that it was built as the main dwelling for Wardrobes Farm. The location of Lord Windsor’s dwelling remains unknown. It would be pleasing to think that the trees in the orchard have been re-propagated and passed down from his times. The apple, now called Wardobes House is dual purpose. It is conical, sometimes a little longer than wide, pale green underneath with thin veins of russet and brown red showing through and with rich crimson on the cheek. It is crisp and fairly juicy, with a sweet and tangy flavour. Ripe in late September, it will keep until December, but tends to shrink a bit. *

Pollination Group 4

 
             

 

WARNER'S KING Killick's Apple, King Apple. It is said to have come from a tree in Maidstone, and was known in Kent in the 18th century as the King Apple. Mr Warner sent it to the famous Hertfordshire nurseryman Thomas Rivers, who named it Warner's King and introduced it. This very large culinary apple was a favourite with the Victorians. When cooked, it breaks down to a purée, which is a little sweet and not particularly sharp. Decorative and vigorous trees, with dark leaves, good blossom and good crops. Ready to pick in September, and stores until December. The size of the fruit makes it unsuitable for espaliers and cordons. T.

Pollination Group 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAX APPLE A Sussex apple, first recorded in 1826 and seemingly lost for a long while. An old and attractive apple about which little is known. The flattish, elegant golden apples have a waxy flecked skin. They are medium sized, firm, sweet and full of flavour. A late dessert apple that keeps for a couple of months, at least. This does not appear to be the same as the Wax Apple of the National Apple Register, which appears to confuse Wax Apple and Early Wax.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELFORD PARK NONSUCH Bred by Charles Ross, head gardener at Welford Park near Newbury, Berkshire, the seed was sown in 1864 and it first fruited in 1871. It was featured, with a colour plate, in the Herefordshire Pomona, of 1885 and was also exhibited at the 1883 National Apple Congress. It seems to have been lost for many decades, despite having had a high reputation and we had been searching for it. In 2007, Suyin and Huw Powell brought an apple to our attention, calling it Welford Park Nonsuch. Huw’s mother was a friend of the owner of the tall and mature tree near Lugwardine in Herefordshire. Suyin had given some apples to a friend Cathy Widdicombe. Her husband, Rob, who is an environmental consultant, had consulted a copy of the Herefordshire Pomona. He believed it might well be Welford Park Nonsuch from the plate and description. We also received some fruit from Suyin and, though inclined to scepticism, were compelled to the same conclusion. The descriptions by Hogg and Scott match almost perfectly, but particularly in respect of the texture of the flesh. It is a dual purpose apple, with an excellent aromatic flavour and quite an attractive appearance, with pink/red and orange flushes and stripes. The flesh is very tender and fine. *

Pollination Group 3