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, two inches wide, and an inch and a half high; round, inclining to ovate, even and regular in outline. Skin, almost entirely covered with rough russet; on the shaded side it is greenish yellow, and on that exposed to the sun it has an orange tinge when fully ripe. Eye, partially open, with flat, convergent, short segments, set in a narrow, shallow basin. Stamens, median; tube, funnel-shaped or conical. Stalk, short, imbedded in the shallow cavity. Flesh, yellow, with a greenish tinge, crisp, juicy, and of good flavour. Cells, obovate; axile, closed.
The tree is a strong grower, hardy, and a great bearer.
Fruit, small, roundish, and flattened. Skin, clear, golden yellow, with markings of russet. Eye, small, and rather open. Stalk, very short. Flesh, yellowish white, crisp, sugary, briskly flavoured, and with a nice aroma.
A kitchen apple; in use from October to Christmas.
Fruit, large, three inches wide, and two and three-quarters high; round, and narrowing towards the eye; handsome and symmetrical, without ribs. Skin, smooth, clear bright golden-yellow, without any blush of red, but a few small reddish spots and small patches of russet. Eye, small, rather closed, with slightly erect segments, which are spreading at the tips, set in a smooth and shallow basin, surrounded with plaits. Stamens, marginal; tube, deep, funnel-shaped. Stalk, short, often with a fleshy growth on one side of it, which connects it with the fruit, surrounded with rough russet. Flesh, yellow, tender, with a pleasant acid juice, and baking of a clear amber colour, perfectly melting, with a rich acidity. Cells, roundish obovate or ovate; abaxile.
A valuable culinary apple; in use from September to December.
Much confusion exists as to the identification of Golden Noble, Waltham Abbey Seedling, and Dr. Harvey, the general resemblance being so much alike. In Golden Noble the eye is small, somewhat closed, with flat, convergent segments, set in a smooth shallow basin, and the tube is funnel-shaped; the stalk is short, generally obliquely inserted by the side of a swollen knob or surrounded by a swelling; the cells are round or oblate, and abaxile; the fruit is heavy, and is in use from September till December.
In Waltham Abbey Seedling the eye is larger and open, with erect, somewhat divergent segments, and set in an even basin; the tube is conical; the stalk slender and straight; the cells obovate, axile; and the fruit is light, and in use from October till January.
In Dr. Harvey the eye is small and scarcely sunk, and is surrounded with knobbed plaits; the tube is funnel-shaped; the stalk is straight and slender; the cells obovate, axile; and the fruit is light, and in use from October till January.
Golden Noble was first brought into notice by Sir Thomas Harr, of Stowe Hall, Norfolk, whose gardener procured it from a tree supposed to be the original, in an old orchard at Downham, and communicated it to the Horticultural Society of London in 1820.