A is for Apples
The apple collection can be found within and around the recently restored Victorian Walled Garden. In its heyday, at the turn of the last century, this area would have been the furiously active 'engine room' for driving the whole of the extensive gardens operation. The fruit collection features over 100 varieties of apple and 45 varieties of pears, including heritage varieties with links to West Sussex, many of them trained into exquisite traditional shapes. There is, however, more to an apple than a quick bite.
The Oldest English Apple, The Golden Pippin
The Golden Pippin is the oldest English recorded apple and was first recorded at Palmer Park, Storrington in 1629. It is also mentioned by the 18th century cookery writer Hannah Glasse in her recipe for apple jelly. It looks a little like a crab apple and is quite small, so generally not to modern tastes. However, Catherine the Great enjoyed the Golden Pippin so much she is said to have taken some back to Russia and George Washington took stock back to his estate in Virginia.
More to popular tastes is the Red Devil, a modern variety with pink flesh and pink juice. This is a Discovery variety crossed with Faversham, a Kent variety (and itself crossed with Orange Pippin.
The Court Pendu Plait (a short hanging plait), both an eater and a cooker, was first recorded in 1420 when it was on sale in France, but, in fact, it possibly goes as far back as Roman times.