Seeds of change at Anglesey Abbey

Anglesey Abbey - Apples

Going back to our roots

We’ve started work to re-establish an orchard at Anglesey Abbey, in an area that historically contained many fruit trees. Only one fruit tree remains in the space, a Bramley’s Seedling Apple tree (Malus Domestica) which is approximately 80 years old.

Anglesey Abbey historically had fruit trees within the grounds. Our research shows that a classic diamond formation had been planted, but maps dating from 1887 show the pattern is incomplete, suggesting it was a mature orchard at that time. 

Benefits beyond fresh fruit

The benefits of having an orchard at Anglesey Abbey went beyond fresh fruit. Whilst the team from Lode Mill were conducting some research into its history, they unearthed some evidence to suggest that the cogs on the mill wheel would have originally been made out of apple wood. Apple wood is naturally oily and is known to be strong. This is why orchards were typically found near mills, giving them a ready supply of fresh apple wood for any repairs needed.

Cambridgeshire has a long history of fruit growing and orchards. Our new Orchard will be built from heritage East of England varieties of apples, pears, greengages and plums, with a particular focus on Cambridgeshire varieties.  We’ll be planting fruit trees on very vigorous rootstocks, which are typical of heritage orchards and will allow our trees to grow up to 6 meters by the time they reach maturity.

Anglesey Abbey Orchard space

From pip to pie

We're transforming what will become the new orchard space. You can watch how the orchard takes shape here with our ‘apple cam’ time lapse camera.

Follow the project below as we make progress on this exciting new journey or why not come along and see for yourself.

Latest updates

01 Jun 19

The orchard is open!

Our newly planted heritage orchard is now open. Wander inside to look at the trees that we've planted, restoring this space back to a fruit orchard. Bring a picnic blanket, or borrow one of our deckchairs, and enjoy a picnic beneath the sunshine.

Relax in the sun in our brand new orchard

06 May 19

Springing into life

Spring has well and truly sprung. We have leaves on the trees and blossom continues to appear across the orchard. Apple blossom is starting to open.

New heritage orchard at Anglesey Abbey

12 Apr 19

First blossom appears

Everything is starting to show signs of growth. The newly planted pears, plums and greengage fruit trees are coming into bud and blossom. We have re-seeded grass throughout the Orchard, which is now starting to grow and hundreds of Narcissi bulbs, planted over the winter, are flowering.

Anglesey Abbey heritage orchard