Traditional Orchards are full of variety - and it's not just apples! Pears, cherries, plums, damsons, quince and cobnuts are all orchard fruits and there are many, many varieties of each; at least 6000 apples, 500 pears and 300 plums. There are many fruit varieties which have historical associations with particular places throughout the country. Some have been bred or discovered in an area and are named after the place they came from or by the person that discovered or raised them. Other varieties were popularly grown in an area. With the loss of Traditional Orchards these local and often rare varieties of fruit are at risk of being lost and already some have become extinct.
The links and references below provide a wealth of information on this fascinating topic.
Local Orchard Groups - find your local orchard group for advice, contacts and information
Brogdale - home of the National Fruit Collection
Common Ground Gazetteer of Orchard Heritage - county-based information on local varieties
Orange Pippin - forum style website with lots of information
The Story of the Apple (2006) Barrie E Juniper & David J Mabberley, Timber Press ISBN 978-0881927849
The Apple Source Book (2007) Common Ground, ISBN 978-0-340-95189-7
The Common Ground Book of Orchards (2000) Common Ground, ISBN 1 870364 21 X
The New Book of Apples (2002) J Morgan & A Richards, ISBN 01458 259 330
Image: NTPL/Stephen Robson