At the heart of SCOG’s work is the search for long lost varieties. Armed with illustrations and descriptions from centuries past coupled with national databases and DNA identification, the hunt is on for local varieties such as Barnack Beauty, Schoolmaster and Stamford Pippin. Read some of the stories below. Who knows; that old tree in your garden could be famous one day!
Introduced by Brown’s around 1870. This useful long -keeping dessert apple is said to have arisen in about 1840 in Barnack.
Originally grown from a pip by a Mrs Peasgood when she was a child in Grantham, and brought with her when she moved to Stamford. It was introduced to public notice by Thomas Laxton in 1872. A large, highly coloured, juicy apple, good for cooking and eating. It became a very popular orchard and garden variety.
Arose around 1855 from a pip planted at Stamford Grammar School. Introduced by Thomas Laxton around 1880, this long-keeping cooker was popularised through Brown’s tree catalogue. Thomas Laxton introduced it to the RHS in 1872. The same year Brown’s paid £20 to the Peasgood’s to allow them to take scions to start commercial propagation of what was to become a very popular UK dual purpose apple.
Found growing as a seedling at Burghley House and rescued by the Head Gardener. It became a popular gardeners’ choice and received an RHS award in 1865 for its long-keeping qualities. Sweet tasting.
Browns' Seedling. Dull yellow skin with an orange flush. Variable in size. Dual use and an excellent keeper.
Apple varieties often thrive best in the area where they were bred, and are therefore powerful symbols of local distinctiveness. Over the centuries Lincolnshire’s nurserymen developed numerous new orchard fruits for use in our region and further afield. The Stamford area boasts at least 44 local varieties of apple, most of which were introduced in the second half of the 19th century by three people: Richard Gilbert, head gardener at Burghley; and two nurserymen, Richard Brown and Thomas Laxton. Of these, only ‘Allington Pippin’, ‘Lord Burghley’, ‘Barnack Beauty’, 'Schoolmaster', 'Brown's seedling' and ‘Peasgood’s Nonsuch’ are presently available from specialist nurseries in this country. The rest are either only found in old gardens, or are lost completely.
It is wonderful to think of three Victorian gents competing with each other to breed, or introduce, so many varieties. Gilbert, in particular, named his apples after places in Stamford, such as ‘St Mary’s Street’ and ‘The Post Office’. Laxton moved to Bedford, where he continued to breed new varieties; many of them, such as ‘Laxton’s Superb’ and ‘Laxton’s Fortune’, are still widely grown. Richard Brown opened a shop for horticultural sundries in Stamford.
Sally Uttley, Stamford Community Orchard Group.
Introduced in 1896 by Thomas Laxton of Stamford. Greenish yellow skin with an orange red flush and few broken red stripes. Dual use.
Allington Pippin - American Wothorpe Proliﬁc - Andrew's Invincible - April Beauty - Barnack Beauty - Browns' Seedling - Carlton Seedling - Cooper's Ambition - Dalton's Exquisite - Duke Of Glo’ster - Duncombe’s Seedling - Gossling's Codlin - Holme Apple - Lady Lennox - Lavender's Seedling - Lord Burghley - Martin Cecil - Pat's Seedling - Peasgood‘s Nonsuch - Pride of Easton - Richard Gilbert - Rowell's Captain - Rowell's Lieutenant - Rowell's Middy - Saint Mary's Street -Scarlet Pippin - Schoolmaster - Seacliff Hawthornden - Sell's Bainton Seedling - Shillaker's Seedling - Stamford Gem - Stamford Pippin - Stamford Pride - Stamford Wonder - The Butcher - The March Queen - The Parcel Post - The Post Ofﬁce - The Woodman - Toogood's Seedling - Welland Pippin - Wharﬂand Beauty - Winter Striped Pearmain