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

Farleigh damson

A classic English damson, still widely grown in gardens in Kent where it originated in the early 19th century.  Farleigh is one of the toughest fruit trees, and can be productive even in cold or wet climates which would be unsuitable for most other orchard fruits.

The fruit is a bit smaller than some other damsons (notably Merryweather) but cropping is heavy and consistent.  Farleigh also has the typical rich damson flavour and is a versatile culinary fruit.

In Kent Farleigh is sometimes known as Crittenden's damson, after a Mr Crittenden of Farleigh, who discovered it growing wild in the early 19th century.  The famous Victorian author Hogg refers to it by this name, and regarded it as "the best of all damsons".  Hogg also states that Farleigh is the largest of the damsons, but by modern standards Farleigh is generally considered medium or small, particularly given the popularity of the much larger Merryweather damson which was discovered at the start of the 20th century.

Farleigh identification photos

  • Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 06 Sep 2013  Tahir,  United Kingdom
    Crazily hard work to jam this, huge crop but the size of cherries and highly cling stone so hard to stone. Good for flavour, plant if you have a LOT of spare time

Tree register

United Kingdom



Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 13th April  2018  - tree owned by David in Hove, United Kingdom

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


  • Species: Prunus insititia
  • Originates from: Farleigh, Kent, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1820
  • Developed by: Mr Crittenden
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1565


  • Fruit colour: Blue-black
  • Fruit shape: Oval / round


  • Uses: Cooking
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sharper
  • Harvest period: Mid-Late season
  • Use / keeping: 1-3 days


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-fertile
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • General disease resistance: Good


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates One of the hardiest of all fruit trees
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters

Offspring of this variety


  • Silverleaf  Chondrostereum purpureum  - Very resistant

Where to buy fresh fruit

No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.

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