Apple orchard at Ightham Mote

Apples on a tree in the orchard with the house in the background

Welcome to the orchard. Our gardeners and volunteers work throughout the year to ensure the trees bear fruit, ready for our celebration of the bounty of Kent at our annual Apple and Orchard day in early Autumn.

Traditional orchards are wonderful places and an important part of our heritage, but in recent years, their number have been in decline. Ightham Mote traditionally had an orchard so in 1989, we started planting heritage apple trees in the garden to the north-east of the house, behind an ancient wall. Further trees have been added since.

Varieties

We have more than 15 varieties of apple growing at Ightham Mote, most of which are heritage varieties. These include:

  • Colonel Vaughan (1600) - dessert / cider
  • Foster's Seedling (1893) - culinary
  • Gascoynes Scarlet (1871) - culinary / dessert
  • Coer de Boeuf (13th century) - culinary
  • Court Pendu Plat (1613) - dessert / cider
  • Sunset (1918) - dessert
  • Blenheim Orange (1700) - culinary / dessert
  • Warner's King - culinary / cider
  • Diamond Jubilee (1889) - culinary / dessert
  • Flower of Kent (1629) - culinary
  • Orange Goff (1842) - culinary
  • Nonpareil (1696) - dessert / cider
  • Greensleeves - dessert
  • Herefordshire Russet - dessert
  • Ribston Pippin - dessert
  • Tydemans Late Orange - dessert

Each year we pick the apples, and celebrate the harvest. This is when you'll get a chance to taste all the different apples, and purchase some to take away. Which variety will you prefer? Will it be the sweet 'Sunset' first discovered in nearby Ightham Village, or how about the 'Flower of Kent', the variety beneath which Isaac Newton came up with his theory of gravity?

With cider, culinary and dessert apples, there's sure to be something to tickle your taste buds!

Did you know?

  1. Apples are a member of the Rose family.
  2. There are about 7000 varieties of apple worldwide.
  3. People have been eating apples for about 8000 years.
  4. Apple pips contain cyanide.
  5. The science of growing apples is called Pomology.