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A brief introduction to our Pear varieties

Gloucestershire is the “home” of the perry pear, whose trees can grow to over 40 feet and live for 300 years. Perry orchards and historic varieties are now under threat.

Perry pears make a wonderful, refreshing drink which can rival champagne!

The strong glass bottle invented in 1630s by Sir Kenelm Digby and developed in Newnham on Severn, Gloucestershire, was quickly exploited by cider and perry producers to hold and sell their drinks.

The National Collection of Perry Pears has been planted at Hartpury Orchard Centre near Gloucester to ensure these old varieties saved for future generations Over 100 varieties are to be found there.

A list of a few local varieties:
Arlingham Squash, Beetroot Wick Court Eric, Betty Prosser, Blakeney Red, Brown Bess , Chapman’s Orange, Christmas Pear, Dead Dog, Flakey Bark, Hartpury Green, Hendre Huffcap, Jenkins’ Red, Littleton Late Treacle, Merrylegs, Red Longdon, Snake Pole, Staunton Squash, Strawberry Pear, Tettenhall Dick, Winnals Longdon

The National Perry Pear Collection

Gloucestershire is host to the National Perry Pear Collection at the Orchard Centre, Hartpury.  To find out more visit the collection’s website www.nationalperrypearcentre.org.uk where there is a comprehensive description of the varieties held.

Publications about Gloucestershire Pears

Charles Martell’s book Pears of Gloucestershire and Perry Pears of the Three Counties published by GOT and HHT describes all the pear variieties of the area. It complement our other books (also by Charles) on Gloucestershire’s Apples and Plums (due soon). Details of all these are available on the bookshop page of our main website.

Archived information from our old website:

These links will open archived information from our old website. Please note that this information is not optimised for tablets or phones and will display only in a basic format. Please also note that this infomation is not up-to-date and is provided here for reference only.

Editing notes: Decisions are needed on how to structure these pages - how to present the local varieties in an accessible way, without being overwhelming. And, also to avoid duplication - the NPPC centre website for example has a thorough treatement of pears - should we be repeating that here, or merely linking to it?