The Apple Book by Rosie Sanders perhaps the best ‘first book’ to acquire on apples, beautifully illustrated and contains most of the common varieties and a few good rarer ones published by Frances Lincoln Limited 2010 ISBN 97800711236035 is a revised reprint of the original 1988 version. available various sources on line.
The New Book of Apples by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards with paintings by Elisabeth Dowle. Published by Ebury Press in association with Brogdale Horticultural Trust. 2002. ISBN 0091883989. This is the definitive modern work, including short descriptions of over 2,000 varieties. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
National Apple Register of the United Kingdom by M.W.G.Smith. 1 Dec 2002. ISBN 1897604289. This book includes all apple varieties known to have been grown in England between 1853 and 1968. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Apples: Botany, Production and Uses by D.C. Ferree and I. Warrington (Editors). Published by CABI Publishing. 2003. ISBN 0851995926. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
A Somerset Pomona, the cider apples of Somerset by Liz Copas. Published by Dovecote Press. May 2001. reprinted edition 2013 ISBN 1874336873. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Cider Apples, the New Pomona by Liz Copas. Published by Short Run Press Ltd., 2013. ISBN 978-0-0568994-2-2. You can buy this book from Vigopress http://www.vigopresses.co.uk/Catalogue/Books
Apples in Scotland; A Practical Guide to Choosing and Growing our Favourite Fruit by MAN member John Butterworth. Published by Langford Press. 2003. ISBN 1904078001. Chapters include Cultivation and an Inventory of good varieties to grow in Scotland. Now difficult to obtain.
Apple Identification in the Southern Marches of England and Wales
Regrettably, most of the following are either rare historical sources of very high value or more modern books now out of print and difficult to obtain except on loan from Libraries.
The Herefordshire Pomona by R. Hogg and H.G. Bull. Published by Jakeman & Carver. 1877-1885. You may be able to find this book secondhand at abebooks.co.uk. It will not be cheap – expect to pay several thousand pounds for a copy. MAN has produced a CD of the The Herefordshire Pomona containing facsimile copies of all the colour plates and the corresponding sections and decriptions of all the varieties illustrated. The Folio Society has now reprinted a corresponding printed edition (with facsimile plates and reset letterpress descriptions).
Bulmers Pomona. A limited edition, collectors book of water colour illustrations of cider apples. The apples depicted are mainly those introduced since the Herefordshire Pomona. (In January 2004 the small number of copies held by Bulmers were passed over to the Herefordshire Cider Museum for sale).
The Fruit Manual by R. Hogg. 1884. Robert Hogg collected the details presented in this work at probably the height of British fruit growing. Chapters include; classification of apples, gooseberries, grapes, pears, plums and strawberries with detailed descriptions of key features, known history of each variety, alternative names and areas where they were grown. There are 250 pages on apple varieties alone. A facsimile copy of the fifth edition, in a limited edition of 1,000, was published by Langford Press in 2002. You can buy the facsimile copy of the fifth edition and, perhaps, the original through abebooks.co.uk.
A Handbook of Hardy Fruits Vol 1: Apples and Pears by E.A. Bunyard. 1920. The two volumes (volume 2 covers Stone and Bush Fruit, Nuts etc. and was originally published in 1925) were republished in facsimile as a single hard bound volume in 1994, ISBN 0 948251 73 5.
The Apples of England by H.V. Taylor. Published by Crosby Lockwood & Son. 3rd edition, 1948. Any edition of this fine book is worth possessing. However, the third edition, with coloured plates replacing the black and white plates of earlier editions, is considered the best. You can normally find several second hand copies for sale at abebooks.co.uk.
Apples: A Field Guide by Michael Clark. Published by Tewin Orchard 2015, a revised and completely different format of an earlier addition. A useful and interesting guide to a wide range of varieties. ISBN 9780954950859 You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Apples: A Guide to the Identification of International Varieties by John Bultitude. Published by Macmillan Press. 1983. ISBN 0333349717.
Directory of Apple Cultivars by Martin Crawford. Published by The Agroforestry Research Trust. 2nd revised edition, 1 August, 2001. ISBN 1874275408. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Apples of the Welsh Marches by Marcher Apple Network, Photographs by Michael Porter. Designed and Typeset by James Bisset. Published by Oldlands Press. 2002.
This first publication of MAN lists the old varieties of apples cultivated in the traditional orchards of the West Midlands and the neighbouring parts of Wales. It includes dessert and culinary apples available for sale by nurseries, but excludes purely cider apples. There are alphabetical lists of ‘local’ apples, with a brief account of each variety, arranged by county or region where they are thought to have originated. Also listed are varieties extensively grown in our area in the past and still to be found in local farm orchards. Seventy nine are listed and described and are accompanied by twenty beautiful colour photographs. Priced at £4, or £5 with post and packing, this very attractive and informative booklet will be on sale at all the events which MAN attends. Alternatively download an order form as a Word document or as a PDF.
Apples of Uncommon Character by Rowan Jacobsen a beautiful American book that includes many British varieties that went across the pond as well many US varieties ISBN 9781620402276 available from amazon.co.uk
Perry Pears by L.C. Luckwill and A. Pollard (editors). Published by The University of Bristol. 1963. This book is a comprehensive survey by Ray Williams of the perry pears grown in the counties of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. It is the only book of its kind on the subject and well worth holding on to if you come across a copy. This book is rare as a second hand copy. You may find a copy at abebooks.co.uk. However, this is more likely to show research papers.
This book was republished as a soft cover, ring bound, facsimile edition by Long Ashton (in 2002?), priced at £25. With the demise of Long Ashton the reprint is almost as hard to find as the original. However, the remaining copies are now believed to be available from Vigo Ltd in Devon. Vigo can be contacted by EMail at or directly at Dunkswell Airfield, Dunkeswell, Honiton, Devon, EX14 4LF, England. Tel: 01404 890 262 Fax: 01404 890 263.
Pears of Gloucestershire by Charles Martell. 2011. Charles Martell has gathered together in one book the details of all the known perry pears from Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Expect no frills in this 201 page book – it is straight into an alphabetic list of perry pears with their detailed identification characteristics. (If you do not know what “pyriform tending to turbinate” means you should read the key in Perry Pears which is also on MAN’s Vintage Fruit CD). This is an electronic book which may be downloaded from www.gloucestershireorchardgroup.org.uk/perry_pears.pdf.
Pears by Jim Arbury and Sally Pinhey. Published by Wells & Winter. 1997. ISBN 0953213609. Jim Arbury, as the Superintendent of the fruit department at RHS Garden Wisley, is in an excellent position to gather and present this excellent and informative book on Pears. This book contains identification, cultural guidance and lists of pears held in the pear collection at Wisley and at the Brogdale Horticultural Trust, as well as details of Perry Pears. Fifty five of the most important pear cultivars grown in Britain today are accurately illustrated in colour with mouthwatering illustrations by Sally Pinhey, and there is also a succinct historical introduction to pear cultivation. For those who are interested from the practical viewpoint of wishing to plant one or more of the trees, the book also contains a short section on pear cultivation and the picking and storing of the fruit. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.You can buy a second hand copy of this book at abebooks.co.uk.
The Book of Pears, the definitive history and guide to over 500 varieties, by Joan Morgan. Published by Ebury Press, 2015. ISBN 9781785031472. This companion work to the New Book of Apples is similarly informative. You can buy this book from many outlets.
Directory of Pear Cultivars by Martin Crawford. Published by The Agroforestry Research Trust. 1996. Similar to his book of apple cultivars, this book covers some 600 varieties.
The Great Book of Pears by Barbara Flores and Susanne Kaspar. Published by Ten Speed Press. September, 2000. ISBN 1580080367. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
The Common Ground Book of Orchards by Dan Keech and others. Published by Common Ground. 2000. ISBN 187036421X. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Growing Cider Apples: a guide to good orchard practice by Roger Umpelby and Liz Copas. Published by the National Association of Cider Growers in association with ADAS, Horticulture Research International and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. April, 2002. Available (post free) for £12.50 – cheques payable to NACM – from Gill Turner, Orcharding Department, H P Bulmer Ltd, The Cider Mills, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE.
A Harvest of Apples by Ruth Ward. Published by Sage Press. New edition, October, 1997. ISBN 0953164403. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Three collections of Apple, Pear, Cider and Perry recipes have been published under the banner of the Big Apple within the Herefordshire parishes on the Marcle Ridge. They are known as
- The Big Apple 1989 A Collection of Apple & Cider Recipes
- The Big Apple A Second Collection of Apple & Cider Recipes
- The Big Apple A Third Collection of Apple & Cider Recipes
The Brogdale Apple and Pear Recipe Book. Published by Geerings of Ashford. Second edition, 1996. ISBN 1873953216. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Cider and Perry
Fermented Beverage Production by Andrew G H Lea and John R Piggott. Published by Springer. Jun 2003. ISBN 0306477068. This is second edition of this contemporary introduction to the science and technology of alcoholic beverages. This authoritative volume provides an up-to-date, practical overview of fermented beverage production, including a chapter devoted to cider making. The second edition includes a thorough updating of information on new technologies and current scientific references. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Craft Cider Making by Andrew Lea. Published by the Good Life Press Ltd., 2012. ISBN 978-1-904871989. Based upon the author’s work at Long Ashton Research. You can buy this book from Vigopress http://www.vigopresses.co.uk/Catalogue/Books
Cider and Juice Apples: Growing and Processing by R. R. Williams (editor). Published by The University of Bristol. Available (post free) for £5.00 – cheques payable to NACM – from Gill Turner, Orcharding Department, H P Bulmer Ltd, The Cider Mills, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE.
Cider Making by A. Pollard and F. W. Beech. Published by Hart-Davis. 1957. Despite its age this is still a good description of Cider (and Perry) making. The section on blending is particularly recommended.
Science and Fruit by T. Wallace and R. W. Marsh (editors). Published by University of Bristol. 1953. Commemorating the Jubilee of the Long Ashton Research Station, 1903-1953, several chapters summarise research on cider and perry. This book is, perhaps, more easily obtained than the Long Ashton Annual Reports. You can sometimes find a second hand copy of this book through abebooks.co.uk.
The Principles and Practice of Cider Making by Vernon L. S. Charley. Published by Leonard Hill Ltd. 1949. This is a translation of La Ciderie, 3rd edition, 1928 describing the French methods of cider production.
Real Cidermaking on a Small Scale by Michael Pooley and John Lomax. Published by Special Interest Model Books. April, 1999. ISBN 1854861956. Shropshire Apple Trust has a full review of this book. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Making the Best Apple Cider by Annie Proulx. Published by Garden Way Pub, US. 1980. ISBN 0882662228. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Cider Making in Wales by John Williams-Davies. Published by The Welsh Folk Museum. 1984. You can buy a second hand copy of this book at abebooks.co.uk.
The History and Virtues of Cyder by R. K. French. Published by St Martins Press. March, 1982. ISBN 0312374127. This is one of the better histories of cider making. You can buy a second hand copy of this book at abebooks.co.uk.
Ciderlore – Cider in the Three Counties by Fiona Mac. Published by Logaston Press. 2003. This book tackles cider and perry in the three counties in a slightly unusual way. The art of cider and perry making – from selecting the varieties of fruit, planting and growing trees to the packaging and marketing of the completed product – is woven into the history and stories of cider makers from the 1900s to the present day.
Cider by Annie Proulx and Lew Nichols. Published by Storey Communications. New Edition, October, 1997. ISBN 0882669699. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Cider, Hard and Sweet : History, Traditions, and Making Your Own by Ben Watson. Published by Countryman Press. September, 1999. ISBN 0881504688. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Cider: A Poem by John Phillips with Notes by Charles Dunster. Published by Leominster Museum. 1989. The poem was written in imitation of Virgil’s Georgics. An exact account of the culture of the apple-tree and of the manufacture of cider is varied by compliments to various friends and patrons, and by many local allusions to Herefordshire, the county of Philips’s ancestors. Phillip Miller, the botanist, told Johnson that “there were many books written on the same subject in prose which did not contain so much truth as that poem”. This is a partial reprint of the 1791 edition. The original of this poem is quite rare and expensive. You can find copies at abebooks.co.uk.
Cider: A Poem by John Phillips. Published by Cyder Press. 2001. ISBN 1 86174 109 X. This is a complete reprint, with commentary, of John Philip’s poem. The text is of the first edition (1708) with a small number of typographical corrections.
World’s Best Cider by Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw. Published by Jacqui Small LLP, 2013. ISBN978-1-1906417-99-4. You can buy this book from waterstones.com
Apple Games and Customs. Published by Common Ground. 1994. ISBN 1870364120. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
Ripest Apples by Roy Palmer (compiler). Published by The Big Apple Association. 1996. ISBN 0952910004. You can buy this book from amazon.co.uk.
The Withers Fruit Farm by Allen Leeds. Published by Square One publications. 2002. ISBN 199955526. An account of commercial fruit growing near Ledbury from the mid 1950s until Allan’s recent retirement. £12.00 – or £13.50 including postage – cheques payable to Allen Leeds – from Allen Leeds, Poppyfields, Withers Farm, Wellington Heath, Ledbury, HR8 1NF.