Orchards, Trees & Orchard Produce

Some Bedfordshire Fruit

Laxton's Fortune

Dessert Apples
Ballard Beauty – Raised by Mr A Norman at Bedford. The following raised by Laxton Bros of Bedford in the late 19th early 20th centuries: Beauty of Bedford, Duchess of Bedford, Laxton’s Advance / Advance, Laxton’s Early Crimson, Laxton’s Epicure / Epicure, Laxton’s Exquisite / Exquisite, Laxton’s Favourite, Laxton’s Fortune / Fortune, Laxton’s Herald, Laxton’s Leader, Laxton’s Pearmain / Bedford Pearmain, Laxton’s Peerless, Laxton’s Pioneer / Pioneer, Laxton’s Rearguard, Laxton’s Reward, Laxton’s Royalty, Laxton’s Superb, Laxton’s Triumph, Laxton’s Victory. Lord Lambourne considered the best-flavoured apple produced by the famous nurseries, named after the RHS president, Owen Thomas named after Queen Victoria’s gardener, a fruit enthusiast, September Beauty. Pam’s Delight from a seedling raised by Alfred Hull in Luton in 1956, planted for, and named after his terminally ill daughter. Propogated at Rivers Nursery (Herts), now a Community Orchard, and by the East of England Apples and Orchards Project. Queenby’s Glory probably from Wrest Park, Silsoe 1949.

Dual Purpose Apples
Neild’s Drooper
from Woburn Park 1915.

Cooking Apples
Bedfordshire Foundling probably originates from Bedfordshire around 1800. Dess de Buff from Wrest Park, Silsoe 1900. Earl Cowper noted from Wrest Park, Silsoe 1949, but probably dates to between 1859-1905. Hambling’s Seedling raised by Major WJ Hambling, Dunstable and introduced 1894.

The following raised by Laxton Bros of Bedford in the late 19th and early 20tth centuries: Beurré Bedford, Harvester, Laxton’s Early Market, Laxton’s Foremost, Laxton’s Progress, Laxton’s Record, Laxton’s Satisfaction, Laxton’s Superb, Laxton’s Victor. Warden cooking pear believed to be from the Cistercian Abbey at Warden, perhaps as early as 1300s.

The following from Laxton Bros of Bedford in the late 19th early 20th centuries: Black Prince (cooking), Bountiful (cooking), Early Laxton (dual purpose), Laxton’s Abundance (cooking), Laxton’s Blackbird (cooking), Laxton’s Blue Tit (dual purpose), Laxton’s Bountiful, Laxton’s Cropper (cooking), Laxton’s Delicious (dessert), Laxton’s Delight (dessert), Laxton’s Early Gage (dual purpose), Laxton’s Gage (dessert), Laxton’s Goldfinch (dessert), Laxton’s Ideal (dessert), Laxton’s Jubilee (dual purpose), Laxton’s Prosperity (cooking), Laxton’s Supreme (dual purpose), Olympia (dual purpose), Utility (dessert). Fotheringham known since 1665, may be English, samples were sent to the National Fruit Collection from Wrest Park, Silsoe in 1940s (dual purpose).

Bedford Prolific.

This list was compiled using many sources including the East of England Apples and Orchards Project county gazetteers, and The New Book of Apples by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards (Ebury Press 2002).

For more information on local varieties and a list of ‘lost’ varieties of Bedfordshire contact the East of England Apples and Orchards Project on +44(0)1328 838403 or see their web-site.

Please get in touch with any additions or corrections