An exclusive opportunity.
September 2000 a birdwatcher staying at Cristin
was using apples
to lure birds. A chance conversation between the
birdwatcher and another visitor to the island Mr
Ian Sturrock led to a most exciting discovery.
Mr Sturrock, an expert on trees who
rejuvenates fruit trees for a living was told that
had been collected from a tree on the island.
On investigating this further Mr Sturrock discovered
that the apple was growing on a gnarled and twisted
tree on the south facing gable end of Plas Bach
and had apparently survived (if not quite thrived)
there for many a long year. Although his enquiries
amongst the island residents suggested that these
apples had been enjoyed by generations of islanders
no one knew what kind of apples they were save
that the pink, lemon – scented fruit with
its juicy and refreshing taste were possibly the
only survivors from an orchard tended on the site
by monks over a 1,000 years ago.
Mr Sturrock was puzzled by the apple and realised
that it was unusual.
recognise it, so I took it to the experts on
British apple varieties, which
is Brogdale Horticultural Trust in Kent”
There the apples were examined by
Dr Joan Morgan, one of Britain’s leading apple experts, who
thought she had tasted every one of several thousand
varieties grown in Britain – until then.
“We could not put a name to it, but who
would wish it to be anything other than the Bardsey
apple?” she said
Dr Morgan declared it the world’s rarest
apple, describing the apple as boldly striped in
pink over cream, ribbed and crowned.
The Trust decided to ask Mr Sturrock
to take cuttings from the tree the following spring
so that we could grow more of this unique tree.