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Blenheim Orange

Apple - Oxfordshire Heritage

Blenheim Orange


Apple - Oxfordshire Heritage


Early October



Planting Position


A late culinary/dessert apple discovered around 1740 in Woodstock, by the local cobbler (some say tailor), George Kempster, growing against a boundary wall at Blenheim Park. He moved it to his garden, where it became locally famous. It was originally named Kempster's Pippin. The Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace approved of the apple and it was renamed Blenheim Orange in 1804. It was widely grown in the nineteenth century, both in Britain and abroad, and was one of the most valued dessert apples. Blenheim’s are seldom available in the shops today, but remain popular with amateur growers and trees are often found in old gardens and orchards. The fruit has a delicious, sweet, nutty flavour and a firm, rather than crisp, texture. It is good with cheese. Also used for cooking, it has a rich flavour and keeps its shape. The fruit stores until January. It can be slow to start fruiting but is vigorous and eventually a good bearer.

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