Southill Solar Orchard

In January 2017, volunteers planted an orchard of 55 trees at the southern end of the Southill Solar community-owned solar farm on the Witney road just south of Charlbury.

Trees supplied by The Heritage Fruit Tree Company.

Volunteers planting the new orchard  Solar panels in the background

Lord Derby, Lord Stradbroke, Lord Lambourne and Lady Henniker, may I introduce noble cookers Edward VII, Lane’s Prince Albert, Annie Elizabeth, Tom Putt; and reunite you with heritage eaters Lord Hindlip, King of the Pippins, William Crump, John Standish, Bess Pool, and Winston, and those golden cider makers Harry Masters Jersey and Frederick, who will all be joining us in Charlbury in a few years time from the electrifying new local orchard at Southill Solar.”

You’ll see the new trees – a double row parallel to the roadside hedge between Fawler Mill and the Fawler turn. I’ve chosen favourites like Holstein, Ribston Pippin, Tydeman’s Late Orange, Kidd’s Orange Red, and d’Arcy Spice that we’d like more of as well as 24 varieties I’ve not found locally but would love us to have; also 11 cider apples, bittersweets and bittersharps, to introduce tannins into the palate of our local Sharecroppers Gold cider available at local festivals. I’ve chosen apples renown for flavour and storage - some lasting until May, famous ones like Pitmaston Pineapple, and ancient ones from before 1600 like Catshead and Court Pendu Plat. Most apples in the orchard will ripen October to November but relish the prospect of Tydeman’s Early Worcester a lovely apple ready in late August.

The cider apples near the Fawler turn, on M25 rootstocks, will become large standards but the rest, on MM106 rootstocks, will be pruned as half standards for good quality picked fruit. Below the cider apples come the plums, Victoria and Belle de Louvain (the lovely large red plum I used to pick from a Chadlington tree that died last year) and three greengages. Then come the dessert and culinary apples in flowering order - early blossom higher up to avoid the frost and later blossoms nearer the Mill. Let’s hope there’ll be enough pollinating insects to discover and pollinate this lovely new orchard. (Article by Christine Elliott published in Charlbury Chronicle, March 2017)

Cider Apples

A01 - Yarlington Mill (cider, bittersweet, late 1800s, Somerset)

A02 - Brown Snout (cider, bittersweet, 1800s, Herefordshire)

B02 - Foxwhelp (cider, bittersharp, pre-1664, Forest of Dean)

A03 - Fillbarrel (cider, bittersweet, 1800s, Somerset)

B03 - Frederick (cider/cooking, sharp, 1800s, Forest of Dean)

A04 - Dabinett (cider, bittersweet, early 1900s, Somerset)

B04 - Kingston Black (cider, bittersharp, 1800s, Somerset)

A05 - Redstreak (cider, bittersweet, 1600s, Herefordshire)

B05 - Harry Masters Jersey (cider, bittersweet, early 1900s, Somerset)

A06 - Stoke Red (cider, bittersharp, early 1900s, Somerset)

B06 - Tremletts Bitter (cider, bittersweet, late 1800s, Devon)

Plums & Gages

A07 - Denniston's Gage (greengage, 1800s, Albany, New York State, USA)

B07 - Victoria (plum, 1840s, Sussex)

A08 - Bellle de Louvain (plum, 1845, Belgium)

B08 - Cambridge Gage (greengage, late 1800s, Cambridgeshire)

A09 - Old Green Gage (greengage, 1500s, France)

Dessert & Culinary Apples

B09 - Adam's Permain (1826, Herefordshire)

A10 - Ribston Pippin(1688, Ribston Hall, Yorkshire)

B10 - Oxford Sunrise (1942, Eynsham - Cox's Orange Pippin x Lane's Prince Albert)

A11 - Holstein (1918, Germany - seedling from Cox's Orange Pippin)

B11 - Wagener (cooker/eater/cider, 1791 - Penn Yann, New York State, USA)

A12 - Red Falstaff (1965, East Malling, Kent - James Grieve x Golden Delicious)

B12 - Lord Hindlip (1896, Herefordshire)

A13 - John Standish (1873, Berkshire)

B13 - Catshead (cooker, 1600s, England)

A14 - Tydeman's Early Worcester (1929, East Malling, Kent - McIntosh x Worcester Permain)

B14 - Peasgood's Nonsuch (cooker/eater, 1858, Lincolnshire - seedling from Catshead)

A15 - Pitmaston Pineapple (1785, Witley, Worcestershire - possibly from Golden Pippin)

B15 - King of the Pippins (cooker/eater/cider, 1770s, France)

A16 - Oxford Hoard (1943, Eynsham - Sturmer Pippin x Golden Russet)

B16 - First and Last (1860, Sussex)

A17 - Tom Putt (cooker/eater/cider, 1700s, Somerset)

B17 - Kidd's Orange Red (1924, Wairarapa, New Zealand - Cox's Orange Pippin x Delicious)

A18 -  Tydeman's Late Orange (1930, East Malling, Kent - Laxton Superb x Cox's Orange Pippin)

B18 - Claygate Permain (1822, Surrey - found in hedgerow)

A19 - King's Acre Pippin (1897, Herefordshire - Sturmer Pippin x Ribston Pippin)

B19 - D'Arcy Spice (1785, Colchester)

A20 - Ellison's Orange(1904, Lincolnshire - Cox's Orange Pippin x Calville Blanc)

B20 - Winston (1900, Berkshire - Cox's Orange Pippin x Worcester Permain)

A21 - William Crump (1908, Malvern - Cox's Orange Pippin x Worcester Permain)

B21 - Ashmead's Kernel(1700, Gloucestershire)

A22 - Norfolk Beefing (cooker, 1700s, Norfolk)

B22 - Golden Noble (cooker, 1820, Norfolk - found in old orchard)

A23 - Lane's Prince Albert (cooker, 1840, Berkhamsted - Russet Nonpareil x Dumelow's Seedling)

B23 - Orleans Reinette (eater/cider, 1776, France)

A24 - Lord Derby (cooker, 1862, Cheshire)

B24 - Bess Pool (1824, Nottinghamshire - found in woodland)

A25 - Dumelow's Seedling (cooker, 1800, Leicestershire - seedling from Northern Greening)

B25 - Court Pendu Plat (Roman times, Europe - first recorded about 1613, France)

A26 - Annie Elizabeth (cooker, 1857, Leicestershire - possibly seedling from Blenheim Orange)

B26 - Crawley Beauty (cooker/eater, 1870, Sussex - found in cottage garden)

A27 - Gascoyne's Scarlet (1871, Kent)

B27 - Edward VII (cooker, 1908, Worcester - Blenheim Orange x Golden Noble)

A28 - Suntan (1955, East Malling, Kent - Cox's Orange Pippin x Court Pendu Plat)

Cobnut

B28 - Butler's Cobnut