The origins of the apple trees have their roots in Asia, more specifically at the modern-day border between Kazakhstan and China in the Tian Shan mountain forests. Apples made their way to Europe through the Silk Road, seeping into our mythologies and cultures. England has long considered their orchards and apples to be a pride. Already in the 11th century, following the Norman conquest of England, orchards were developed within the grounds of monasteries and the raising of new varieties was undertaken.
It was during the Victorian times that the apple truly became a hot-topic in England. The horticulturist Richard Cox developed the famous Cox apple sort in 1825, which became Britain’s most popular native fruit, representing half of all the apples grown in the UK. The craze for apple breeding and the strive for perfection did not stop there. Apple farmers all across the country continued to develop new sorts including Hoary Morning, Blenheim Orange, Knobby Russet, Laxton’s Epicure and many more. Britain once produced more varieties of apple than anywhere else in the world.
Today, England still takes pride in its apple production. Many cultural events surrounding apples are held in England every year. These events can be large or small, from apple games in a garden to large village fairs with cookery demonstrations, games, apple identification, juice and cider, gardening advice, and the sale of many hundreds of apple varieties.