Crabtree Orchard Rainbow Header

 Map from 1838Map from 1884History of Crabtree Orchard

In 1838, Mr Thomas Holder a tenant farmer declared on the tythe return for Wichenford, that field 508 was a young orchard. The young fruit trees replaced earlier crops of hops that had been farmed in Wichenford to great profit. In the 1830's foreign imported hops started the decline of the English hop business and so with foresight Mr Holder planted his 8 acre orchard. Many varieties of apple, pear and plum were planted, varieties that ripened in gradual succession from July to October, and the orchard was undoubtedly profitable for many a year.

Time passed and during the Second World War the lower part of the orchard was planted with wheat, corn and barley to help with the war effort. Unfortunately, fruit farming in Britain after the war saw a marked and sad decline and many traditional orchards were grubbed up and we started to import much of our fruit from abroad. Our orchard however was left for the trees to grow and the fruit to ripen and go unharvested for many a year.


 Map from 1945



By 1945, aerial reconnaissance maps taken after the war, show the decline of orchards in the area around Crabtree Orchard. On the 1945 aerial photo it can be seen that Crabtree Orchard was still well planted and probably viable.



Map from 2010


 Sadly by 2010 the Google Earth maps showed an even more drastic and marked decline of orchard planting within the local area but more significantly in Crabtree Orchard where there are only 28 apple trees left.






 < Back to About

< Back to home page