An apple a day from Attingham's orchard

A view of the orchard at Attingham Park

Attingham's orchard is a hive of activity. Home to 37 varieties of apple trees and home to the busy bees of the observation hive, the orchard is an important productive part of the Attingham Estate.

The Orchard

Attingham's three acre orchard reflect the size of the wider Attingham Estate. The orchard and walled garden were the most intensiely productive areas of the Georgian estate.

Just some of the 37 varieties of apple tree in the orchard at Attingham Park
A view of the orchard at Attingham Park
Just some of the 37 varieties of apple tree in the orchard at Attingham Park

Probably built in the 1780s, at the same time as the Mansion was built for Noel, 1st Lord Berwick, it was located out of sight on ground away from the rivers Severn and Tern that cross the estate.

 

An apple a day

Georgian gardeners carefully cultivated different varieties of apples that ripened throughout the year, extending the natural growing season with early and later crops of eating and cooking apples.

The glossy red Lord Grosvenor apple variety ripening in the orchard
Lord Grosvenor apples on a tree in the orchard at Attingham Park
The glossy red Lord Grosvenor apple variety ripening in the orchard

This is still the case today. The first Red Joanetting apple of the year are picked in July and the last Sturmer Pippins in November to be supplied to Attingham's Cafe, Tearoom and Stables Shop for the majority of the year. Apples are picked for eating straight away, and also to be stored for later in the year. The Georgians would only have been without home grown apples during May and June.

The first frost of autumn in the Orchard. A sign winter is coming.
Apples in the Orchard covered in frost
The first frost of autumn in the Orchard. A sign winter is coming.

At home in the orchard

The orchard is a haven for wildlife and insects. Bee's feed on the spring apple blossom, birds such as blue tits and blackbirds nest in the trees - in holes formed when limbs drop off. Wasps are welcome in our orchard - as it's an organic orchard the wasps play an imprtant role in keeping aphids down by feeding on them.

Look out for the observation bee hive when you visit the orchard. You'll find it along the wall between the frameyard of the walled garden and the orchard, abotu half-way along. This clever perspex hive gives visitors the chance to watch the bees as they go about their business in the hive.

 

Helping to support Attingham

Throughout the year Attingham grown fruit, vegetables and flowers are sold in the Stables Shop. Proceeds from the sale of Attingham produce are used to maintain and conserve Attingham. When you visit the orchard, buy a bag of apples, or enjoy a piece of autumn apple cake in the Carriage House Cafe you're helping keep Attingham a special place now and for the future. Thank you.

 

See the orchard in action

From Saturday 22 September to Sunday 21 October we'll be celebrating the autum harvest season across the Attingham Estate. Amongst the harvest highlights will be the Apple Day where we'll be pressing apples and makign juice in the orchard on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October.