Denbigh Plum

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The plum is grown in the designated geographical area of the Vale of Clwyd in Denbighshire in North Wales from where the plum originates. It is the only plum variety native to Wales.

The Denbigh Plum is medium sized (50-65mm) diameter when ripe, with a distinct egg shape. Its color is orange-red with yellow patches when the plum begins to ripen, but darkening to a rich purple-red, strewn with golden speckles when ripe. The Flesh is firm and of a rich yellow with greenish amber tint. The skin is soft and delicate and to avoid damage and bruising the fruit should be handled with great care.

The plums are harvested mid-August before they are ripe and when they are firm to the touch. If required as a dessert plum the fruit is allowed to remain and ripen on the tree and is harvested in late August or early September. At this stage the plums are a rich purple red color with a naturally soft and juicy flesh which is sub acid and a little sweet. The sweetness and tone of flavor that makes this plum unique is partly due to having a long growing season because of the cooler climatic conditions which exist within the Vale.

The Denbigh Plum variety predates the rise of the nursery trade at the start of the 19th century. It also predates the 18th century country house craze for fruit cultivation when varieties from the European continent, notably France, were introduced into British walled-gardens. In fact, plums can be traced back to a Carmelite friary orchard in 1270-80. There have been references to the fertile land in the Vale of Clwyd throughout history and the region has a long association with the production of soft fruit and plum growing.

Although the actual age of The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh plum is unknown, it is clear
from historical evidence that the same Denbigh plum variety has been grown on the
designated area for centuries and was well established in gardens across the Vale of
Clwyd by the 1850s.

The Vale of Clwyd Horticultural show from the 1850’s became famous and there are
numerous references to Denbigh plums or Denbigh seedling plums from the Vale of
Clwyd being exhibited at what became a very prestigious show in newspaper articles
and ‘The Garden’, which was a very popular horticultural journal at that time.
At the Vale of Clwyd Horticultural Society’s first annual show at Denbigh in 1850, the “plum category” mentions Denbigh Plums by actual name.

The reputation of the Vale of Clwyd Show went from being of local to national interest when the railways made North Wales more accessible and brought even more visitors to the famous show. The railways also enabled the plums to be sold further afield as prior to the arrival of the railways soft fruit and plums produced in the area were only able to be sold in towns and villages in the local area such as Ruthin, Denbigh and St Asaph, all within a 20 mile radius.

Today, evidence that this area was once involved in the production of fruit, namely plums can still be found in local street and house names Denbigh Plum

The plum is grown in the designated geographical area of the Vale of Clwyd in Denbighshire in North Wales from where the plum originates. It is the only plum variety native to Wales.

The Denbigh Plum is medium sized (50-65mm) diameter when ripe, with a distinct egg shape. Its color is orange-red with yellow patches when the plum begins to ripen, but darkening to a rich purple-red, strewn with golden speckles when ripe. The Flesh is firm and of a rich yellow with greenish amber tint. The skin is soft and delicate and to avoid damage and bruising the fruit should be handled with great care.

The plums are harvested mid-August before they are ripe and when they are firm to the touch. If required as a dessert plum the fruit is allowed to remain and ripen on the tree and is harvested in late August or early September. At this stage the plums are a rich purple red color with a naturally soft and juicy flesh which is sub acid and a little sweet. The sweetness and tone of flavor that makes this plum unique is partly due to having a long growing season because of the cooler climatic conditions which exist within the Vale.

The Denbigh Plum variety predates the rise of the nursery trade at the start of the 19th century. It also predates the 18th century country house craze for fruit cultivation when varieties from the European continent, notably France, were introduced into British walled-gardens. In fact, plums can be traced back to a Carmelite friary orchard in 1270-80. There have been references to the fertile land in the Vale of Clwyd throughout history and the region has a long association with the production of soft fruit and plum growing.

Although the actual age of The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh plum is unknown, it is clear
from historical evidence that the same Denbigh plum variety has been grown on the
designated area for centuries and was well established in gardens across the Vale of
Clwyd by the 1850s.

The Vale of Clwyd Horticultural show from the 1850’s became famous and there are
numerous references to Denbigh plums or Denbigh seedling plums from the Vale of
Clwyd being exhibited at what became a very prestigious show in newspaper articles
and ‘The Garden’, which was a very popular horticultural journal at that time.
At the Vale of Clwyd Horticultural Society’s first annual show at Denbigh in 1850, the “plum category” mentions Denbigh Plums by actual name.

The reputation of the Vale of Clwyd Show went from being of local to national interest when the railways made North Wales more accessible and brought even more visitors to the famous show. The railways also enabled the plums to be sold further afield as prior to the arrival of the railways soft fruit and plums produced in the area were only able to be sold in towns and villages in the local area such as Ruthin, Denbigh and St Asaph, all within a 20 mile radius.

Today, evidence that this area was once involved in the production of fruit, namely plums can still be found in local street and house names in Denbigh such as “Bryn Eirin” meaning “Plum Hill” and “Rhyd yr Eirin” meaning “Ford by the plums”.

Today, most Denbigh Plums are sold fresh in local markets or alternatively the fruit can be frozen, dried or processed into a puree and used as an ingredient to make products such as preserves.





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Territory

StateUnited Kingdom
Region

Wales

Production area:Vale of Clwyd in Denbighshire

Other info

Categories

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Carol Adams