ERDDIG APPLE FESTIVAL TURNS 40 THIS MONTH!!

As part of Erddig’s 40th anniversary celebrations, the annual weekend event for the humble apple will become a month-long programme.

In recent years, the weekend festival often attracted over 8,000 people putting pressure on the stately home’s buildings, collection, gardens and facilities. So this year, in keeping with the season, the idea is to slow the pace down a little and spread the activities over the full month to ease the impact on the historic house and estate. 

As the pleached limes begin to turn gold and a blaze of red Virginia creeper covers the west front of the hall, Erddig’s orchards become full to the brim with apples – 180 varieties are grown in all.

Without doubt the sweet-scented centrepiece of the celebrations is always the garden team’s impressive apple display in the transformed Tractor Shed. They’ve spent weeks collecting this year’s harvest, 180 varieties are grown at Erddig and this year 130 varieties bore fruit. The garden contains some of the finest examples of Victorian varieties, including Adam’s Pearmain, Lord Lambourne and Colonel Vaughn.

The apple display showcasing Erddig’s many varieties of apples harvested in the orchards is available to see from 7 October. Each variety collected is displayed and labelled for everyone to see, from Arthur Turner to Ashmead's Colonel. Erddig’s oldest known variety is the Decio, thought to date back to Roman times.

 

Jamie Watson, General Manager at Erddig and This Is Wrexham Board Member said:

“Thousands of visitors return to the festival every year. By nurturing a month-long festival, we’re hoping that many more will come and savour the delights at a more relaxing pace.”

There’s a new apple-inspired sculpture trail by artist in residence Simon O’Rourke, cider press demonstrations, Penny Farthing experiences and creative writing workshops.

For cider press demonstrations, the Ralph’s Cider team will be at the historic hall on 21 and 22 October to press Erddig’s apples to begin their transformation into Erddig cider. Visitors can buy last year’s cider in the restaurant and shop and see Welsh celebrity, Dai Chef deliver his apple-inspired masterpieces during the same weekend. 

Visitor Experience Manager and This Is Wrexham Member, Jemma Stubbington said:

“Spreading the celebrations over a longer period might take a little more work this year, but it means we’re not cramming it all into one weekend, which takes the pressure off our car park, collection and gardens and will hopefully mean more people can enjoy the fruits of our labour.” 

A highlight of this year’s harvest programme will be the return of Peter Read performing ‘No Place Like Home’, his one man show which takes a warm-hearted look at Erddig’s last squire and his difficult decision to hand his home and all its contents to the National Trust.  Visitors to Erddig will be able to enjoy the multi-media 40th anniversary installation telling the story of Erddig’s journey from dereliction to distinction.

New to the programme this year is Jake Evans, storyteller. Taking apples as his inspiration, he’s set to spark young imaginations with his creative stories. An award-winning storyteller, Jake Evans joins us on 15, 21, 22 and 29 to 31 October between 11am and 3pm.

Our team of volunteers has organised apple-themed games and craft activities to try at weekends, from apple and spoon races on the lawn to chocolate apple pops.


Origins of the festival


Erddig’s apple festival began with an ambition to rescue and preserve old apple varieties and mark National Apple Day which is 21 October.

Now with 180 apple varieties grown at Erddig, many rare and historic, it’s fair to say that Erddig still aims to do just that, but the event has grown to become a much bigger celebration of this humble fruit.

Head Gardener, Glyn Smith said: 
“I am pleased that so many people make our apple display and harvest their annual must-see event. From humble beginnings, it has grown to be an important celebration that takes many months of preparation. We couldn’t do it without the support of our garden volunteers who help prune, pick, pack and sell our cherished harvest. ”

2017 Programme

  • Erddig 2017 apple display – 130 varieties to see in the tractor shed

  • Artist in residence, Simon O’Rourke NEW apple-inspired sculpture trail

  • Mr Phoebus Penny Farthing experience – a chance for grown-ups to ride as the Yorkes once did 6 to 8 and 13 to 15 October

  • Erddig cider bar 7 and 8 October

  • Matthew Wood art workshops 14 October

  • Jazz music, So What Now band 14 and 15 October

  • Peter Read 'No Place Like Home' theatre production 14 and 15 October

  • Live music in the house – enjoy a rare opportunity to hear the Bevington organ being played 16 to 20 October

  • Ifton Colliery Band 21 and 22 October

  • Ralph's cider making and cider press demonstrations 21 and 22 October

  • Ralph’s Cider bar and you can try before you buy – 21 and 22 October

  • Dai Chef cookery demonstrations – 21 and 22 October

  • Synergy Live band – 29 October

  • Erddig 40th anniversary multi-media installation throughout

 
For Families

  • NEW Special apple trail to find our crew of quirky apple characters carved by Simon O’Rourke

  • Meet the donkeys and horses – make badges with the horse team (weekends). Look out for the donkeys in the stables, you might catch them doing a spot of apple bobbing with our windfall apples as a little treat.

  • Getting to the core of our collection – a trail to discover apple items in the house.

  • Punch and Judy 7 and 8 October

  • Woodland classroom activities in Wolf’s Den 14 October

  • Storytelling with award-winning Jake 15, 21, 22 and 29 to 31 October

  • Techniquest apple science activities 28 and 29 October

  • Apple-inspired games and craft activities with our volunteers including chocolate apple slice decorating (weekends)

  • Mr Phoebus Penny Farthing experience – mini bikes to try in the Timber Yard 6 to 8 October

  • Family creative writing activity – 7 and 8 October

  • Bird feeder making with the RSPB 2, 9, 28 and 29 October.

© 2016 This Is Wrexham - a partnership of leading tourism & event providers in Wrexham County Borough.