Leicestershire Heritage Apple Project


leicestershire apple, annie elizabeth..... leicestershire apple, martin's custard..... queen caroline, leicestershire apple

Buy Leicestershire Apples

Do you have an old unproductive orchard which you would allow to be grafted over to Leicestershire cultivars? If so, please contact us.

Will run next on the third Saturday in Feb, 2025. If interested please email. I'll be taking bookings in Nov-Dec 2024.

There are about 100 kinds of apple in our collection so far, including all of the known Leicestershire apples. They have an astonishing variety. Most are not in the National Fruit Collection.

A few of them are listed below.

Annie Elizabeth..
Barnack Beauty.. (this is a Northamptonshire apple, not Leicestershire)
Barnack Orange..
Belvoir Seedling..
Dumelow's Seedling..
Martin's Custard..
Langton's Nonsuch..
Leicester-Burton Pippin (a.k.a. French Codlin)
Lord Burleigh
Marriage Maker
marriage maker, leicestershire apple
Prince Charles
Packington Apple
Queen Caroline
St. Ailred

saint ailred, leicestershire apple
Sweetings Exceptionally early apple (Mid - July ripening)

Foxton's Pride.. Please click on the link for information..

St. Cecilia (from Mt. St. Bernard's Abbey; we have found a possible tree near to the Abbey (Nov 2013))
Cross's Seedling (from Hugglescote - we're still looking)
Packington Apple: we have now located a tree and collected scions (Jan 2015).

(descriptions and pictures are being added:)

    Bumble Bee Lane apple..
    Calla Colossus, found near Leicestershire / Northants border
    calla colossus apple...
    Calla Colossus.. Large juicy dual-purpose apple from Foxton
    Croft Late.. small, hard, sweet; can pick on Christmas Day
    Chapman's Colossus - very large red & green cooker; crops every year
    Croft Sharp.. - cider apple, bittersharp; excellent for blending with sweeter apples
    High Cross Apple.. - late eater; very good for drying; keeps until April
    Sam Bell's Special - very small early cooker; extremely high in vitamin C
    Shepherd's Delight - brightly coloured early eater; quite tart, scented
    Seagrave Late Apple.. - late eater; pick in Late December
    Whitwick Pippin (aka Berkin Beauty)..
    Wibtoft Pippin..
    Wyggeston Pippin.. - only average flavour but never misses a year

    and, from outside Leicestershire.........
    Barnack Orange - Stamford variety
    Blackjack.. - old Norfolk variety; keeps until March
    Metton Roy.. - old Norfolk variety; dual-purpose, keeps all winter
    Burford Red.. - found in Oxfordshire: unique seedling
    Burford Sour.. - found in Oxfordshire; unique seedling; striped crab, use in cider blends
    Burford Yellow.. - found in Oxfordshire; unique seedling; exceptionally late eater; keeps until May or occasionally June in good condition.
    Catshead - old English, 1600s, enormous yellow cooker
    George's Red.. - found in Roundbush, Essex; red-fleshed.

    essex apple, george's red.....
    Kingston Black -cider
    Mere Pippin.. - found in Wiltshire; unique seedling, pole tree, very late eater
    Pendragon - cider; tart, redfleshed and red juice
    Pig's Snout - cider

    pig's snout - cider apple.....
    Sops in Wine, red-fleshed and scented

    suspected sops in wine apple, suffolk

    Surfleet Sour - found in Surfleet, Norfolk. Late eater, tart, sometimes with red flesh.
    Witney Deerpark .. - found in Oxfordshire; unique seedling
    Wyken Pippin.. - old Warwickshire variety.....
    Lots more redfleshed apples in the collection - about 30 varieties - not listed here. Please ask.

    Witney Pear.. - pre-commercial Asian giant cooking pear - found in Oxfordshire

Please contact Mel or me if you would like to assist with the work of Leicestershire Heritage Apples. We are particularly interested in finding people who are willing to help us on Apple Days.

1. The search for Foxton's Pride is over. We still have no documentary evidence that it exists. We will not be spending any more time looking for this apple.

2. We are still looking for Cross's Pippin, from Hugglescote.
3.We are still looking for St. Cecilia, bred at Mount St. Bernard's Abbey by Friar Ailred McPike.
4. We are looking for Lady Ashby. A reference has been found in the National Apple Register to this apple, mid 1800s, possibly Leicestershire.

A number of old trees have been found in and around Foxton village and locks. The best of these has been propagated under the name 'Calla Colossus'.

Mel was on Radio Leicester's gardening programme on Nov 1, 2009, giving an update about the project. She can be heard here . ...this recording is reproduced by permission of Radio Leicester, with special thanks to Dave Andrews.

Mel has also been looking into old English cider apples - click on Foxwhelps for more information.

Nigel Deacon / Mel Wilson

Community Orchards

We are keen on promoting local community orchards. A private collection of apple trees rarely outlives the person who planted it. New people move in, and the orchard is grubbed up or gradually disappears.

A community orchard can be useful over a much longer period of time.

The same is true of orchards attached to certain large properties such as those owned by the National Trust.

If you need help with stock selection of Leicestershire apples, please contact us.

If you have information about or maps of community orchards, with or without variety lists / names, please contact us.


Anstey ... Brock's Hill, Oadby ... Broughton Astley ... Donisthorpe... Gilmorton Avenue, Leicester ... Ratby ...

to be mapped:
Braunstone, Brock's Hill, Donisthorpe, Evington, Great Glen, Hose, Wymeswold


Cotesbach Orchard... Foxton Project... LHAP Reserve Collection... Lubbesthorpe Primary School... Shuttlewood Clarke Collection... Waterloo Cottage Farm...

24th Feb 2013, Market Harborough:

grafting workshop, market harborough: leicestershire heritage apples project. grafting workshop, market harborough: leicestershire heritage apples project....

Click the thumbnails for better pictures.

3rd March 2012, Donisthorpe:

grafting workshop, donisthorpe: leicestershire heritage apples project.... grafting workshop, donisthorpe: leicestershire heritage apples project....

grafting workshop, donisthorpe: leicestershire heritage apples project.... grafting workshop, donisthorpe: leicestershire heritage apples project....


All of the above, grafted to order in Feb; ready in August.
  • Leicester-Burton Pippin
  • Dumelow's Seedling
  • Sweetings
  • Belvoir Seedling
  • Marriage Maker
  • Langton's Nonesuch
  • Queen Caroline
  • Chapman's Colossus (Leicestershire Unique Seedling)

    We take most orders in Dec-Jan, prepayment only, but are building up a stock of trees. Inquiries - please send an email. We can advise if you are unsure.

    Certain other rare varieties may be added (more Leicestershire Unique Seedlings, redfleshed, etc) later. We can frequently graft other types mentioned on the site; please email.

    Dabinett, cider apple..... blossom on apple tree, var. Red Devil

    Eventually there will be plenty of fruit to go round, but it's likely to take a while.

    We are interested in hearing from anyone with an orchard containing unknown or rare apples.

    We also want to learn about own-root trees, which have some advantages over grafted trees, and about preserving graft wood at awkward times of year (e.g. late summer or autumn). If you have experience in either area, we would like to hear from you.

    Mel Wilson & Nigel Deacon.

    An overview of Leicestershire apples
    / Producing new apple trees

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