The Hundred Parishes Society

One pleasurable autumn task is the harvesting of ripened fruits from trees in your own garden.  For most of us, our cooking apple will be a Bramley’s Seedling and the dessert apple an Essex-bred Discovery or a Cox’s Orange Pippin.  Originating from central Asia, apples are incredibly varied with at least 2,000 named varieties!  There are 150 named varieties in the gardens at Audley End. In the 19th century the skilled horticulturalists at the Rivers Nursery at Sawbridgeworth bred and propagated many varieties of fruit trees, including the prolific Czar plum and Conference pear, both of which are still available today. The Conference pear features in Great Chesterford’s 21st-century community orchard.

For commercial reasons, the range available from modern plant nurseries is limited to a few easy-to-grow varieties. However, hidden away in forgotten corners of long-established gardens within the Hundred Parishes there will be specimens of heritage varieties of orchard trees.

If you have a flavoursome, but unidentified, variety, then the team at the East of England Apples and Orchards Project would be delighted to hear from you.


Please contact Tricia Moxey by phone on 01328 838403 or by email at

Further information can be found on the website at

Apple blossom at Bridge End Garden