all know that cider making has been a part of history
of Somerset and the south west part of the Midlands
for centuries. Roman and Norman invaders added to the reservoir
of fruit stock and a labours wages (or part of them) were paid in
cider in these areas until the Truck Act of 1887. For many people
in the South West believed that cider had a religious significance
and many of the keenest makers were monks. It was not unusual for
babies to be christened in cider until the 15th century.
Recent research, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council,
is demonstrating exactly what a dominate part cider orchards played
in Somerset’s landscape. Studies of maps of the areas fringing
the Quantock Hills show that it 1840 there were 1,401 cider orchards
were there were only 11 remaining by 2007.
Apple Heritage Day at Fyne Court, Broomfield, Somerset on
Saturday 19 October.