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Ribston Pippin

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Title: Ribston Pippin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Cox's Orange Pippin, Blenheim Orange, List of apple cultivars, British apples, Redlove Era
Collection: Apple Cultivars, British Apples
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ribston Pippin

'Ribston Pippin' is a triploid cultivar of apples, also known as 'Essex Pippin', 'Beautiful Pippin', 'Formosa', 'Glory of York', 'Ribstone', 'Rockhill's Russet' and 'Travers'.


  • Origin 1
  • Description 2
  • Culture 3
  • In literature 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


This apple was grown in 1708 from one of three apple pips sent from Normandy to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall at Knaresborough, Yorkshire; the original trunk did not die until 1835. It then sent up a new shoot and, on the same root, lived until 1928.

Ribston Pippin.

The 'Ribston Pippin' is one of the possible parents of 'Cox's Orange Pippin'.


The apple skin is a yellow, flushed orange, streaked red with russet at the base and apex. The yellow flesh is firm, fine-grained, and sweet with a pear taste. Irregularly shaped and sometimes lopsided, the apple is usually round to conical in shape and flattened at the base with distinct ribbing. Weather conditions during ripening cause a marbling or water coring of the flesh, and in very hot weather, the fruit will ripen prematurely.


A vigorous tree with upright growth, its medium-sized ovate to oval-shaped leaves are a deep green color and distinctly folded with sharp, regular, and shallow serrations. The surface of the leaf is smooth and dull with a heavy pubescence.

It is very slow to begin bearing, and the proper pollinators will increase the fruitfulness. 'Lord Lambourne' has been recommended for a pollinator, as well as 'Adam's Pearmain', 'James Grieve', and 'Egremont Russet'.

'Ribston Pippin' has one of the highest vitamin C contents; 30 mg/100g.

In literature

The apple appears in a verse by Hilaire Belloc called "The False Heart":

I said to Heart, "How goes it?" Heart replied:
"Right as a Ribstone Pippin!" But it lied.[1]

The apple appears in Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native in the second book, chapter two: "Now a few russets, Tamsin. He used to like those as well as ribstones."[2]

In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Black Peter" in The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle an incidental character is described as a "a little Ribston pippin of a man, with ruddy cheeks and fluffy side-whiskers".[3]

In The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens a character is described as a "little hard-headed, Ripstone pippin-faced man." Later in the novel a clerk "peeled and ate three Ribstone pippins..."[4] In the story "Thoughts about People" in Dickens' Sketches by Boz , a London apprentice is described as having "a watch about the size and shape of a reasonable Ribstone pippin..." [5]

Irish writer Helen Wykham's first novel was titled Ribstone Pippins and had Belloc's poem as its epigraph.[6]

In A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr, a character says, "I've brought you a bag of apples. They're Ribston Pippins; they do well up here; I remember you saying you liked a firm apple."[7]


  1. ^ "A Belloc Sampler". 
  2. ^ Hardy, Thomas. The Return of the Native. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Dickens, Charles. The Pickwick Papers. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Dickens, Charles. Sketches by Boz. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Helen Wykham, Ribstone Pippins. Dublin: Allen Figgis & Co., 1974.
  7. ^ Carr, J. L. (1984). A Month in the Country. Academy Chicago. p. 101.  

External links

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