Origin and History
First discovered as a chance seedling on a rubbish heap at Gleaston Castle near Ulverston, Lancashire in 1793, Keswick Codlin is an early-season cooking apple. It was introduced by the nurseryman John Sander of Keswick and grown for market in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Kent up to 1930, but is now only found in gardens. The trees have a neat habit and profuse and highly-fragrant early blossom and were recommended in the 1890s for arbours and tunnels and as specimen trees in shrubberies.
The fruit is medium-sized, conical to oblong and pale greenish-yellow with a dark yellow flush and a giveaway russet hairline down the side. It can develop a purple flush on the sunny side of the tree. The lenticels are large and russet. The skin is dry and smooth, turning greasy during storage.
Picking, Storing and Using
Keswick Codlin is unusually early and should be picked from mid July for cooking and from mid to late August for eating. It does not store well. Originally popular in Cumbria for July apple pies, Keswick Codlin became the Victorians' favourite for apple jelly and also makes a refreshing, juicy eating apple.
Growth, Flowering and
A reliable and heavy cropper, even in damp growing conditions. Keswick Codlin is partly self-fertile but needs a pollinator such as Charles Ross, James Grieve or Lord Hindlip to be at its best.
Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018