Friday, 23 November 2012

The Bramley Apple

Bramley Apples, grown in our orchard.
The first Bramley apple tree was grown from seeds planted by a young Mary Ann Brailwood, in the garden of her parents house in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in the year 1809.

Nearly 40 years later the cottage was purchased by a local butcher, by the name of Matthew Bramley. It was another 10 years before anything would come of this. In 1856, Henry Merryweather enquired with Mr Bramley if he could make cutttings from the tree in his garden, so that he may grow and sell the fruit. Bramley was more than happy to oblige, on the condition that the apple would be named after him.

Fast forward to 1862, and the first recorded sale of the Bramley apple is found in the accounting books of Henry Merryweather. Mr Geo Cooper of Upton Hall purchased 3 of the apples on October 31st of the year.

The Royal Horticultural Societys Fruit Committee was presented with fruits from the grafted apple in 1876. The society offered high commendations of the apple.

Between 1889 and 1893 the Bramley received the First Class Certificate from the Committee of the Nottingham Botanical Society. The Royal Horticultural Society also awarded their First Class Certification in August of 1893.

The original Bramley tree suffered a horrible accident during a violent storm in the year 1900, the strong winds ripped the tree from the ground. Unusually, the tree managed to survive it’s ordeal and it still produces Bramley apples to this day.

The Bramley went mainstream during the First World War. A great many trees were planted, as the apples were a highly sought after source of food in such dire times. By the mid 40’s there were over 6 million Bramley trees producing fruit for farmers.

The Bramley Campaign was founded in 1989, with the intent to fund campaigns aimed at consumers. The organisation is funded by voluntary subscription and works closely with fruit farmers to expand the market and provide opportunities.

The Queens Golden Jubillee in 2003 was a special year not only for the British nation, but for the Bramley apple as well. The Tree Council, who have a nationwide network of tree wardens chose the Bramley tree as 1 of 50 great British trees, in order to mark the event.

To this day the Bramley retains it’s nickname “The King of Covent Garden”, and you can find the Bramley at the New Covent Garden Market all year round.

Fenland is one of the largest producers of the Bramley apple, and here at the Orchard tea room we contribute significantly to that with our prized trees.

You can purchase Bramley apples at our Farm Shop now:

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