Just 10 mins away on the train from Banbury is National Trust Canons Ashby. And they are keeping old traditions alive this autumn by celebrating Harvest, with Apple Harvest Weekend on the last weekend of the month on the 25-26th September.
The Canons Ashby garden team grow lots of historical varieties of apples. Head Gardener Nadine, said:
“We care for historic apple varieties which might have been grown here in the 1800s. You won’t see a Cats-Head apple or Coeur De Boeuf (beef heart) apple in the local supermarket today, which makes it much more important that we look after them well.”
Cuttings of this collection of historic trees have been taken and used in other orchards to keep these special varieties going. Some of the trees are around 150 years old, but many were planted in the 1980s when Canons Ashby was rescued from dereliction and the garden was restored.
Apple Harvest Weekend is the beginning of the apple season (25-26 September). You will see a display of historic apple varieties, and there will be apple themed games and family crafts. Try your luck with the tombola whilst raising funds to look after Canons Ashby, or try “Hook an Apple” and win a prize. And don’t forget to get competitive with your friends and see who wins at the Coconut Shie! Some of our local crafters will be attending with a select group of stalls in the marquee too buy yourself something lovely to take home. Find out more on the Canons Ashby website.
Normal admission prices apply and some small fees will apply for some of the activities and the harvest trail. To buy things from the stall holders, cash is often preferable due to poor phone reception. To find out more about opening hours, prices and other essential info visit their website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/canons-ashby
Where is Canons Abbey?
It’s near Daventry in Northamptonshire, NN11 3SD.
It’s a delightful Tudor manor house set in rare terraced gardens, built by the Drydens using the remains of a medieval priory. The house and gardens have survived largely unaltered since 1710 and are presented as they were during the Victorian era.
The warm, welcoming house features grand rooms, stunning tapestries and Jacobean plasterwork, contrasting with the domestic detail of the servants’ quarters.
Stroll in the historic parkland and catch glimpses of early medieval landscapes, while a wander through the priory church reveals the story of the canons of Canons Ashby
Who are the National Trust?
The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people: Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley, who saw the importance of the nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. Today, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they continue to look after places so people and nature can thrive.
The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have shown this is more important than ever. From finding fresh air and open skies to tracking a bee’s flight to a flower; from finding beauty in an exquisite painting or discovering the hidden history of a country house nearby. The places cared for enrich people’s lives giving a much needed outdoor space of historic interest.
Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coastline and 500 historic properties, gardens and nature reserves.
The National Trust is for everyone, founded for the benefit of the whole nation. With more than 26.9 million visits each year to the places with an entry fee, and an estimated 100m visits to the outdoor places that are free of charge. Paying visitors, together with the 5.6 million members and more than 53,000 volunteers, support work to care for nature, beauty, history. They continue to ensure the properties are for everyone, for ever.