Sunday, 6 August 2017

The apples of Wyken Manor

Aficionados of Ashdown House and William Craven will already know that he was a man of wide-ranging interests. I had not previously realised, however, that one of them was horticulture. Last week I discovered that when he came back from the Netherlands after the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 William Craven brought with him the seeds of an apple which he planted at Wyken Manor near Coventry. This grew to be the Wyken Pippin apple tree. On Thursday, wandering in the orchard at Stanton Park near Swindon, I found a Wyken Pippin tree and learned of its history. Apparently the fruit is creamy white, moderately firm, juicy, sweet and aromatic, which sounds delicious. At Stanton you can pick the pippin and other heritage apples, which is a rather lovely idea!