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

Ribston Pippin apple

Also known as the Glory of York, this is the most famous variety from the English county of Yorkshire. Ribston Pippin is a strong-tasting 'aromatic' apple, very popular in Victorian times.  The flavour is at its best a month or so after picking, and it can also be used for culinary purposes and for its sweet/sharp juice.

Although a good apple in its own right, the key interest in Ribston Pippin is that it is almost certainly the parent of the world-renowned Cox's Orange Pippin.  It has a stronger more robust flavour than its offspring but is arguably less-refined.  This robustness can be seen in some of the offspring of Cox's Orange Pippin such as Suntan.

Ribston Pippin gets its name from Ribston Hall in Yorkshire where it was first grown in the 18th century.  Given the reverence with which Cox's Orange Pippin was held in late Victorian times, it is not surprising that the Victorian author and pomologist Hogg went to some lengths to trace the ancestry of Ribston Pippin.  He found it listed in the well-known Brompton Park Nursery in 1785, but only a handful were being sold per year -  however by the 1840s this same nursery was selling 2,500 Ribston Pippin trees.  This suggests that the true origins of Ribston Pippin lie back in the early 18th century.  Hogg discovered that in 1688 some apple pips were brought from Rouen in France and planted in the grounds of Ribston Hall, and he concluded that one of these pips was the source of a very old Ribston Pipin tree known to be still standing in 1810.

This would make Ribston Pippin contemporary with, and perhaps in some way related to another well-flavoured 18th century variety Margil, which also had links to France.  It also suggests the nice irony that England's greatest apple was probably descended from a French variety.

In our opinion, comparing the two apples side by side, the hallmarks of Cox's Orange Pippin are certainly present in the flavour of Ribston Pippin, but more as a signpost of greatness to come - Ribston Pippin is a good apple, but not a great one.

Ribston Pippin identification images

  • Ribston Pippin
  • Ribston Pippins in a garden in Kent, UK

USDA identification images for Ribston Pippin

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.

    Offspring of this variety


    See also

    • Cox's Orange Pippin - Ribston Pippin was long considered a parent of Cox's Orange Pippin but recent genetic tests have disproved this.
    • Margil - Margil and Ribston Pippin both originate from England in the mid 18th century but with strong links to France.

    Visitor reviews

    • 13 Oct 2018  EAST SUSSEX, United Kingdom
      Ribston Apples are mentioned in Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native book 2, chapter 2. They are referred to as being stored in the loft underneath ferns and are being eaten at Christmas
    • 02 Oct 2017  CUMBRIA, United Kingdom
      My wife grafted this four years ago on the recommendation of a friend who has 150 trees on their farm and says it is the customer favourite. The tree was allowed to grow nine apples this year and we have just shared one after dinner. I found it had a strong lemon flavour, quite delicious. It has been a bad year for us sun-wise but I rate it with Laxton Fortune this season.
    • 04 Nov 2016  YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      A God of an apple. For me, it improves a week or two after picking.
    • 24 Oct 2015  MASSACHUSETTS, United States
      Well balanced sweetness and acidity, without the more complex, layered flavour of Cox Orange Pippin. Pretty orange skin is easy to chew. Will not stay crisp for long once off the tree.
    • 15 Oct 2014  TEXAS, United States
      I want to go back to the 1700's just so I can eat one every day from then until now...
    • 26 Sep 2014  Ireland
      I grow over seventy varieties of apple, but this one is my personal favourite. I have only one tree (planted two more last winter) and although I sell all my other apples, I never sell these - I keep them all and eat them myself! It's a magnificent apple, superior (in my opinion) to its much lauded (and rightly so) descendent. Dan, Co Kerry, Ireland
    • 06 Oct 2013  NORTH YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      One of my favourites. Aromatic juicy fruit. Best eaten straight from the tree, but will keep until Christmas. I have 3 trees on MM111 rootstock which produce heavy crops in most years. Then it is a Yorkshire variety and I do live near York.
    • 12 Sep 2010  WARKWICKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Does not produce many apples but of good flavour photo - http://www.gb-online.co.uk/plant_centre1/photos/apple-ribston-pippin.jpg
    • 16 May 2009  FRIESLAND, Netherlands
      Hallo Jan, ik kan je aan een Ribston-pippin helpen als je wilt, neem je even contact met me op?
    • 05 Nov 2008  PORTSMOUTH PO3 6BN, United Kingdom
      I was born 1931 at the lodge of Ribston Park,a village called Walshford and i have had a ribston tree for many years until i moves,the history of ribston hall amzes me because i always thought that major dents family had lived there for hundreds of years,this not being so.
    • 17 Oct 2008  GREAT SHEFFORD, BERKS. U.K., United Kingdom
      This is just about the tastiest apple you will ever find, in fact after a Ribston Pippin very few apple varieties wil satisfy ever again. Next year (2009) I hope to produce a flagon or two of cider from a 'secret' tree.
    • 29 Sep 2008  GERMANY, Germany
      @ Jan van Hoek, every good specialised fruit tree nursery can make you a young tree (e.g. taking a twig of your Ribston an put it on a new root). Or they already have some, Ribston can still be bought although I only know German sources. I would ask the nursery as well which root type they offer (trees get a different size then). Regards.
    • 28 Sep 2008  OVERIJSSEL, Netherlands
      Since 3 years we live at a former farmhouse with a small orchard. There is a splendid appletree with a plenty of well tasted apples. Now we know it is a Ribston Pippin. The tree is more than 60 years old. We try to get a young one from this tree. Is that possible? Who Knows more about it?
    • 30 Jan 2008  LEEDS, United Kingdom
      ribston pippin is named after ribston hall (near knaresborough)were in 1688 ,sir henry goodricke planted 3 pips sent to him from rouen in normandy.2 died but from the 3rd came all the ribston trees in england it contains the highest vitamin c content of any apple
    • 01 Nov 2007  ENGLAND, United Kingdom
      This variety is also mentioned in the classic 'A month in the country 'by J.l.Carr- a gem of a book don't know about the apple!
    • 18 Oct 2007  CASTRO VALLEY, CA, United States
      A favourite in my little orchard. This is the only apple mentioned by name, I believe, in Wyss's fantasy "The Swiss Family Robinson". The family finds a tree in the hold of that miraculous ship.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom

    Netherlands

    Canada

    Australia

    New Zealand

    Norway

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2022 season

    • 1st May  2022  - tree owned by Stuart in Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    • 18th April  2022  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • 16th April  2022  - tree owned by deadbird in Epsom, United Kingdom
    • 16th April  2022  - tree owned by deadbird in Epsom, United Kingdom

    2018 season

    • 23rd May  2018  - tree owned by Jim in Mequon, United States
    • 13th May  2018  - tree owned by Paul in Preston, United Kingdom
    • 5th May  2018  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2017 season

    • 25th April  2017  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2016 season

    • 9th May  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 6th May  2016  - tree owned by deadbird in Epsom, United Kingdom

    2015 season

    • 9th May  2015  - tree owned by Stephen in Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
    • 3rd May  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 2nd May  2015  - tree owned by Jon in Brigg, United Kingdom

    2014 season

    • 6th May  2014  - tree owned by Don in Twisp, United States
    • 27th April  2014  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • April  2014  - tree owned by deadbird in Epsom, United Kingdom

    2013 season

    • 21st May  2013  - tree owned by Celia in Manchester, United Kingdom
    • 19th May  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 9th May  2013  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom

    2012 season

    • 15th May  2012  - tree owned by Chris in Ripley, United Kingdom
    • 8th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
    • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Celia in Manchester, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • September  2011  - tree owned by David in Emerald, Australia
    • 26th April  2011  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 3rd May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, United Kingdom
    • April  2010  - tree owned by Chris in Kidderminster, United Kingdom
    • April  2010  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • April  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

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


    Harvest records for this variety

    2018 season

    • 1st week September  2018  - tree owned by Jim in Mequon, United States

    2017 season

    • 3rd week September  2017  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2016 season

    • 4th week September  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2015 season

    • 2nd week October  2015  - tree owned by Peter in Hexham, United Kingdom
    • 4th week September  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2014 season

    • 3rd week September  2014  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2013 season

    • 1st week October  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2012 season

    • 3rd week October  2012  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom
    • September  2012  - tree owned by Jennifer in Horten, Norway
    • 2nd week August  2012  - tree owned by Chris in Ripley, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 1st week November  2010  - tree owned by Chris in Kidderminster, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week October  2010  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • September  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

    Origins

    • Species: Malus domestica
    • Parentage: Unknown
    • Introduced: Early 18th century

    Using

    • Picking season: Late
    • Cropping: Good
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
    • Flavor style (apples): Aromatic
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Discoloration of fruit: Very oxidising (browns quickly)

    Growing

    • Attractive features: Attractive fruit
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Ploidy: Triploid
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Organic culture: Suitable

    Climate

    • Cold hardiness (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Identification

    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 1700 - 1749
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Fruit colour: Orange flush

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Ribston Pippin apple trees for sale:

    • Cummins Nursery
      United States  More >>
    • Keepers Nursery
      United Kingdom  More >>

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Ribston Pippin:

    United States


    United Kingdom


    Canada




    References

    • Apples of England (1948)
      Author: Taylor
    • Fruit Expert
      Author: Hessayon

    Varieties you viewed



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