Royal Country House Branches out with Unique Yorkshire Orchard for National Tree Week
Goldsborough Hall could soon lay claim to offering some of the most locally-sourced preserves and puddings in Yorkshire – as the owners walk in the footsteps of royalty and plant a Yorkshire Orchard of 32 fruit trees to celebrate National Tree Week.
Clare and Mark Oglesby have planted 15 apples, three pears and a collection of quince, plums, greengages, damson, medlars, blackberries and sloes, on a third-of-an-acre of the grand estate near woodland where former Goldsborough resident HRH Princess Mary, the Queen’s aunt, used to sit and enjoy the view almost 100 years ago. The royal family planted many trees on the estate during their residence, including a Lime Tree Walk.
Once fully grown, the fruit from the orchard will supply the dining room at Goldsborough Hall, with the freshest supplies of local fruit, ready for jams, jellies, puddings and pies.
In particular, a Ribston Pippin apple, grown in 1708 from one of three apple pips sent from Normandy to Sir Henry Goodricke, a neighbour of Goldsborough at Ribston Hall, Knaresborough, is thought to have been cultivated by Goldsborough gardeners.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that this particular variety was cultivated jointly by gardeners at Ribston Hall and Goldsborough, so it has special significance to us,” says Clare Oglesby, who is also reinstating Goldsborough’s kitchen garden this year. “I was very keen to have traditional and local varieties for the orchard because of the immense heritage of the Hall, and to ensure the trees would thrive here. For decades the hall has not had any fruit trees, since the original walled kitchen garden was sold off in the 70s, and it’s a missing piece of the jigsaw. It feels very exciting to be bringing it back to life.”
Built by Sir Richard Hutton, a prominent London lawyer, in the 17th century, and home to HRH Princess Mary after her marriage to Viscount Lascelles, Goldsborough Hall was saved from developers by the Oglesby family in 2005, and together with their children Lucy and Charlotte, they have spent the last nine years renovating the building and restoring the grounds.
The Tree Council’s National Tree Week, which runs from 29 November to 7 December this year, is the UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree-planting season.
Take a peek at the orchard and the developing kitchen garden on Sunday 22 March 2015, when the garden will be open for the National Garden Scheme