Origin and History
Brenchley Pippin is one of our rarest Waterfurlong finds - a small dessert apple that tastes similar to Blenheim Orange.
No-one knows how old the variety is or who bred it. It was brought to the attention of famous Victorian pomologist Dr Robert Hogg in the early 1880s by the artist Harrison Weir. The apple was at that time widely cultivated in the little village of Brenchley, near Tunbridge Wells, in the heart of the Kent fruit-growing countryside. It is now barely known.
The fruit is oblong and small to medium in size, even and regular in shape. The skin is green and slightly russeted on the shaded side, with a brown or orange flush on the face that catches the sun. The flesh is yellowish with a green tinge - sweet, tender, aromatic and rather dry.
Picking, Storing and Using
Brenchley Pippin is best picked in mid October and will store through to April or May.
Growth, Flowering and Pollination
Brenchley Pippin is a small, upright and spreading tree. It is not very sturdy and struggles in windy positions - this is probably the reason it never gained popularity outside its native county.
It needs a pollinator to fruit - good choices include Dumelow's Seedling, Cox's Orange Pippin and Ellison's Orange.
'The Wren' by Harrison Weir 1881.
Weir was a Kentish artist with a keen interest in nature and horticulture. He is nowadays best remembered as the organiser of Britain's first cat show and was known as 'The Father of the Cat Fancy'!
Copyright © Karen Meadows 2020