Historic orchards at Wightwick Manor

A view of an apple tree in the orchard laden with red apples. The Manor is visible in the background

The orchards are a great place to have a picnic in the gardens at Wightwick. In the springtime, smell the honey-scented blossom, take shade under the branches in the summer and marvel at the array of colours in the autumn.

With over 52 varieties, you are sure to find your favourite

Most of our apple varieties were popular in the late 18th and early 19th-centuries and would have been used by the Mander’s cook to create seasonal favourites. There are not only eating apples, you can find cooking and cider apples too.

Not just apples

Fruit trees were important in a garden such as Wightwick and were meant to support the whole household including servants. The fruit could be stored or preserved to provide food throughout the Winter.

In our three orchards we have a wide range of fruiting trees including Pear, Quince, Plum, Damson, Cherry and Mulberry in the Kitchen Garden. Pear, Plum, Crab apple, Medlar and Apple in the Small Orchard. Apples (eaters, cookers and cider) can be found in the Large Orchard.

Our garden volunteers help with the annual apple picking
A volunteer wearing a white coat and blue jeans, bends over the pick apples off a low apple tree trained across a wire fence.
Our garden volunteers help with the annual apple picking

Unique trees

A few years ago, we found that one tree in the Large Orchard was unproductive. To avoid removing the tree altogether and as something of an experiment, our gardener Dan successfully grafted 12 different varieties of apple onto one tree. See if you can spot it on your next visit.

Conservation

You can help us to look after our trees by not climbing them or damaging the branches. We also ask visitors to please not pick the apples from the trees - we do have a supply of pre-picked apples available on our kitchen garden stall where we are accepting donations in return.