All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Keswick Codlin apple

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.

Last updated 15 Jun 2011.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 5.0 out of 5. Total votes cast: 2

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

04 Nov 2016 
Grandad had one of these and always ate the fruit straight from the tree, peeling it with his penknife. Now I have one and in November, enjoying the crisp, sharp flavor with grandchildren. It suffers from superficial fungus spot on the skin but we still enjoy the fruit.

08 Oct 2015 
I planted this variety about 12 years ago. It's still hanging on the tree now (mid October - SW England) so for us it's not that early. We love it as a simple puree with creammmmm!

01 May 2015 
My tree is 3 years old and I was very happy to get my first apple this year. Only one! This tree was given to me as a gift from my parents when I bought my first home in NZ. I grew up opposite Gleaston Castle where it was found growing on a rubbish dump so this variety has sentimental value for my family and provides a connection to "home". There is a fantastic heritage orchard project run through our local environment centre which sources trees from old homesteads in the area which would have been brought by early settlers and carries them on for future generations.

17 Oct 2010 
When we moved into our home 56 years ago, Sylvia, my late wife and I inherited a Victorian garden of ? acre that included about 8 apple trees, some of which still survive. One of which has been identified as the distinctive Keswick Codlin, always with a ridge down one side, sometime continuing right around. That tree,in spite of appearing on our detailed map of 1884 still produces fruit each year,as do three others of different species.

08 Jul 2010 
I guess this must be our Codlin, which keeps well in our eaves cupboard. We had some left 2 weeks after Easter this year and can see the next crop is a good one too.

26 Nov 2009 
I used to live in Lancaster. From looking at this web site and others, I'm pretty sure this was the variety of apple tree in our garden there. Great in pies and you could eat the ripest ones straight from the tree. Wouldn't mind tasting one again!

06 Jul 2009 
Sharp intense apple flavour. Cooks to a pulp. Ideal for pies. Very easy, trouble free tree which is partially self fertile.

04 Oct 2008 
is this the one with a crease down one side? I remember it from my Grandmothers garden in Bath many years ago.

18 Sep 2008 
I agree with the other comments here. We inherited a Keswick Codlin when we moved here 40 years ago, only we called it the 'mushroom tree' because of its shape, not knowing its variety until years later.It has fallen down three times, to differing degrees.and been jacked up as much as we could. We feared the most recent time would be terminal, its trunk being almost right down on the ground,and many of the roots out of soil. But no,3 years on it's fruiting brilliantly. Takes up a lot of space, but so much easier to pick! Wonderful old friend.

15 Sep 2008 
I absolutely adore these as eating apples - they're grown organically at our local farm from where we buy our fruit and veg: Willow Farm run by the Rickard family in Congerstone, Warwickshire. They're too delicious to reserve for cooking only, and are the perfect apple combination of crisp, sharp and snappy - a bit of an eye-waterer!

09 Jan 2008 
This apple is one of the flavours of my childhood in Worcester, for eating from the tree and cooked. Our family inherited a mature Keswick tree and another just used for cooking when we bought an inner city terrace.

03 Aug 2007 
Very good apple for crumble and it fluffs up well with just a hint of water.

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An old but ever-popular early-season English cooking apple.

Keswick Codlin phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Unknown seedling
  • Originates from: Ulverston, Lake District, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: Early 19th century
  • Developed by: John Sander, a nurseryman from Keswick
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1037
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 2000-053


  • Bultitude apple group: 5. Yellow, smooth, sweet or acidic


  • Flowering period: Early-Mid season
  • Flowering group: 2
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

See also:

  • Dog's Snout - Dog's Snout has some visual similarity with Keswick Codlin.

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

Keswick Codlin identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Keswick Codlin identification photos from website visitors

Keswick Codlin
Keswick Codlin

Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Keswick Codlin trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United Kingdom




New Zealand

Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 8th May  2018  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 10th May  2016  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 15th May  2015  - tree owned by Lindsay in Penrith, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2015  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom
  • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 11th May  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 15th May  2012  - tree owned by David in Nr Tain, United Kingdom
  • 30th April  2012  - tree owned by Lenore in Beverley, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2018 season

    2016 season

    • 3rd week September  2016  - tree owned by Matt in Blacklion, Ireland

    2015 season

    • 3rd week September  2015  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

    2014 season

      2013 season

        2012 season

        • August  2012  - tree owned by Lenore in Beverley, United Kingdom

        Where to buy trees

        The following fruit tree nurseries offer Keswick Codlin apple trees for sale:

        • Keepers Nursery
          United Kingdom  More >>

        Where to buy fresh fruit

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