This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, small, about two inches wide, and the same in height; ovate or conical, handsomely and regularly formed. Skin, greenish yellow, covered with patches and dots of russet, particularly round the eye. Eye, small and open, set in a shallow, narrow, and even basin. Stamens, marginal; tube, conical. Stalk, about half an inch to three-quarters long, almost imbedded in a round cavity. Flesh, yellowish white, tender, crisp, and very juicy, with a rich, brisk, and sugary flavour. Cells, oblate; axile.
A rich and deliciously flavoured dessert apple, of the highest excellence; in use from December to March.
The tree is perfectly hardy, a healthy and vigorous grower, but does not attain a large size; it is an excellent bearer.
This variety was raised by John Motteux, Esq., of Beachamwell, in Norfolk, where, according to Mr. George Lindley, the original tree still existed in 1831. It is not very generally cultivated, but ought to form one even in the smallest collection.
Fruit, large; roundish ovate, broad and flattened at the base, and narrowing towards the apex, where it is terminated by several prominent ridges. Skin, deep yellow slightly tinged with green, and marked with faint patches of red on the shaded side; but entirely covered with deep red, except where there are a few patches of deep yellow, on the side next the sun. Eye, small and closed, with short erect segments, and set in a narrow and angular basin. Stamens, median; tube, deep, conical. Stalk, short, inserted in a wide and deep cavity, which, with the base, is entirely covered with brown russet. Flesh, yellowish, tender, and juicy, with a pleasant sub-acid flavour. Cells, roundish obovate; abaxile.
A valuable and now well-known culinary apple; in use from October to February. When well-grown, the Beauty of Kent is perhaps the most magnificent apple in cultivation. Its great size, the beauty of its colouring, the tenderness of the flesh, and a profusion of sub-acid juice, constitute it one of our most popular winter apples for culinary purposes, and one of the most desirable and useful, either for a small garden, or for more extended cultivation.
The tree is a strong and vigorous grower, attains a large size, and is a good bearer; but I have always found it subject to canker when grown on the paradise stock, and in soils which are moist and heavy.
I have not been able to ascertain the time when, or the place where, this variety originated. It is first noticed by Forsyth in his Treatise on Fruit Trees, but is not mentioned in any of the nurserymen's catalogues, either of the last or the early part of the present century. It was introduced to the Brompton park Nursery about the year 1820, and is now as extensively cultivated as most other leading varieties. In America, Downing says, "the fruit in this climate is one of the most magnificent of all apples, frequently measuring sixteen or eighteen inches in circumference." This has a good deal of resemblance to the Rambour Franc of the French pomologists.