Keswick Codlin pre-dates the classic Victorian period of English apples. According to Victorian pomologist Robert Hogg writing later in the 19th century, it was first found growing as a seedling tree in a rubbish heap at Gleaston Castle near Ulverston at the southern tip of the English Lake District, in the 1790s. A local nurseryman from the nearby town of Keswick, John Sander, propagated it and helped establish it.
Keswick Codlin rapidly established itself as a very early season culinary apple with a good juicy acidic flavour. It readily cooks down to a sweet puree.
Keswick Codlin continues to be a popular garden variety to this day. Its success rests on two factors. Firstly its excellent flavour, early in the season when there is not much else about. Secondly, it is one of the more foolproof apple trees for the gardener, readily succeeding in damp climates with short growing seasons, and a reliable and usually heavy cropper.