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Acorn Bank

Acorn Bank Orchards comprise a collection of apple, pear, plum, damson and quince trees grown as standards, cordons and espaliers. 175 varieties of apple are grown as a reference collection of apples which are suited to growing in the North of England. We use the collection to conserve heritage varieties and to encourage more people to try and to grow a wider variety of apples. The orchards are within peaceful walled gardens complete with herbaceous borders and carpetted with daffodils in Spring, and in a more open setting enclosed by hedges with an array of beds containing soft fruit and seasonal vegetables.

The name of this National Trust property, originating from the ancient oak woods surrounding the Crowdundle Beck, dates from 1597, and the red sandstone manor house dates from the sixteenth century, though most of it is eighteenth century. It passed into National Trust ownership in 1950 along with gardens and almost 200acres. The watermill has been restored and the woods bloom in spring with over 60 different varieties of daffodils, narcissus and wood anemonies. The gardens boast the north of England’s largest collection of medicinal and culinary herbs which extends to 250 species & varieties. The orchards are also a notable feature. The oldest trees within the walled garden date from the 1930s and include a Blakeney Red (Pear), Cambridge Gage, Quinces, Medlars & Mulberry. The main orchard of 26 apple trees was planted from 1972 as half standards on MM111 and consists of the following varieties chosen for their suitability for the northern climate.

A new orchard of half standards on M25 was planted from 2000.

More recently, four rows of cordons on MM106 have been planted containing about twenty varieties per row.

In total this comes to over 100 different apple varieties which must be the biggest collection of apple varieties in any public Cumbrian orchard! In addition, a further two rows of cordons are planned for 2013. As if that were not enough, there are some tall Perry Pears (Blakeney Red & Thorn), fantrained Gooseberries (Invicta & Greenfinch) and ten varieties of Rhubarb in the new orchard, plus Quince (Portugal & Vranje) and Whitecurrant (White Transparent) in the herb garden.

Open daily except Tuesday from mid March to early November, 10am – 5pm. Admission £5.00 (NT members free). Location 6 miles east of Penrith, 1 mile east of A66, 1 mile north of Temple Sowerby, follow brown signs. Postcode for Satnav: CA10 1SP Tel: 017683 61893

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