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

Golden Spire apple

Golden Spire

Golden Spire was intrroduced in the Victorian period, primarily as a cooking apple.  It was discovered in Lancashire but spread to Gloucestershire where it was known as Tom Matthews and grown for cider production.

It remains popular in England as a garden variety, and is notable for its distinctive cider-like flavour.  The flesh is juicy and it cooks to a puree with an excellent apple flavour.

Golden Spire apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Golden Spire
  • Golden Spire
  • Golden Spire

USDA identification images for Golden Spire

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Visitor reviews

    • 16 Sep 2023 
      Our school has a small orchard where these apples grow. Just had the most amazing home grown apple crumble made by the school cook. Gardening Club children picked them. Afterschool club children peeled them. We all enjoyed eating the crumble!
    • 22 Feb 2023 
      It is a wonderful apple - best for eating by older people not brought up on the many very sweet apples now on sale. It is also a very good cooking apple.
    • 19 Oct 2022 
      We have an old, lichened Golden Spire in our garden. Beautiful blossom and crops heavily every other year. We use it as an eater, firm and crisp, and for cider making.
    • 27 Feb 2021  AGDER, Norway
      Even in Norway, homeland of damp, cool weather, including infrequent summers, this cultivar, more or less, every second year, displays impressive elongated fruits of enjoyable fresh taste, comparable to the high, but rare autumn blue skies.
    • 06 Dec 2015  ROSS & CROMARTY, United Kingdom
      I've just had an apple tree in a local hedgerow identified as. golden Spire by Brogdale. It's about 10 miles north of Inverness, and I haven't the foggiest how it got here. Now that I know what it is I may try growing some from piosnext year.
    • 10 Nov 2012  United Kingdom
      My mother has an old Golden Spire in her orchard. The fruit has a very distinctive, firm flesh with a slightly sour aftertaste - cidery, as some other reviews have said. It is an excellent eating apple, as well as being good for purees and baking
    • 21 Oct 2012  NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, United Kingdom
      My grandparents had one in their large garden at Wollaston, Northants. It was probably planted in the late 19th century when the house was built. I knew it in the 1960s when I was a boy, and well remember its distinctive smell and taste (my mum, in her 80s, has just recently told me the variety). I intend to plant one in my garden. One practical point: as I remember, it's not a great keeper - one to be used early and enjoyed.
    • 05 Oct 2009  YORK, United Kingdom
      There's one growing in Kylemore Abbey near Galway. I filched a couple of windfalls, lovely fresh taste. The tree looked great too, covered in fantastic lichens
    • 26 Oct 2008  GLOUCESTERSHIRE, United Kingdom
      My neighbour has just brought us over a load of these. They're oddly mis-shapen apples, with greenie yellow skin and pale, creamy white flesh.There is a little sharpness, but it's not unpleasant, with a cidery back-taste as previously mentioned. Eight of us have tried, including my two year-old, and we all agree, it's a thumbs up for eating/cooking.
    • 11 Oct 2008  STAFFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom
      We have this variety growing in our garden and happily eat them straight of the branch. Good taste, sweet but with a 'cidery' hint to it. Crops well, unfortunately the wasps also love the apples.
    • 18 Sep 2008  LANCASTER, United States
      Just tried one of these - I agree ! Fabulous cidery back-taste, perfectly edible (or at least the one i have just eaten was!). Probably best to classify as a 'Cooking/Eating' variety. Didn't this apple originate in Lancashire?

    Tree register

    United Kingdom


    Harvest records for this variety

    2016 season

    • 1st week October  2016  - tree owned by Dave in Preston, United Kingdom

    2013 season

    • 2nd week September  2013  - tree owned by DoorusOrchard in Kinvara, Ireland


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Unknown
    • Originates from: Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 1850
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 2000-039
    • Some historical details taken with kind permission from 'The New Book of Apples' by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards , illustrated by Elisabeth Dowle, published by Ebury Press, 2002.


    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 1850 - 1899
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Rarely grown
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Mid
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
    • Flavour quality: Good
    • Flavour style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
    • Cooking result: Puree
    • Cropping: Good
    • Fruit persistence: Ripens over a period
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Food uses: Hard cider
    • Food uses: Traditional cooker
    • Picking period: early September
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 1
    • Pollinating others: Good
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Growth habit: Weeping
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Attractive features: Attractive flowers
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile


    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Mild damp climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Average
    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Some susceptibility

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Golden Spire apple trees for sale:

    • Keepers Nursery
      United Kingdom  More >>

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Golden Spire:

    United Kingdom


    • Apples of England (1948)
      Author: Taylor

    Varieties you viewed