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.
We can hardly call the chestnut a British fruit. It is true that in some situations in the southern counties it ripens fruit, but that is generally so very inferior to what is imported from Spain and the south of France, that no one would think of planting the chestnut for its fruit alone. It is as a timber tree that it is so highly valued in this country.
The following are the varieties that succeed best; but it is only in hot summers that they attain much excellence: -
This is by far the most abundant bearer, and ripens more thoroughly a general crop than any other.
This is distinguished by the very short spines on the husks, and is not so prolific as the preceding.