- About Us
- Contact Details
Producers of Yorkshire Rhubarb and Yorkshire Liquorice plants. We hold the largest collection of rhubarb varieties, both culinary and ornamental, in West Yorkshire.
Please note:This year we are currently unable to offer Heritage Rhubarb plants for sale
Here at Brandy Carr Nurseries we have over 100 different varieties of rhubarb, this includes ornamental and culinary plants.
Until the nineteenth century rhubarb was not widely used as a food. It was more common as an ornamental plant or used in medicines. In the 17th century, Sir Matthew Lister, a Yorkshireman, introduced edible garden rhubarb to England from Italy. At first it was used for its medicinal properties, but from the 1780's it was occasionally used in pies as a substitute for gooseberries.
In approximately 1810 the first rhubarb reached the London market. Out of five bundles sent only three were sold. By 1820 Myatts of Deptford and Lewisham were supplying the market regularly. In the 1830's rhubarb was grown in the market gardens of Deptford, Lewisham, Kew, Camberwell, Fulham and Mitcham. It is estimated that in 1831 over 100 acres of culinary rhubarb was grown around London. Many of the varieties grown then have since disappeared.
1837 saw the appearance of Victoria (syn. "Queen Victoria") this was introduced by Joseph Myatt of Deptford. This was followed a couple of years later by Prince Albert and British Queen. In 1855 Mclntosh listed eight varieties worthy of cultivation: Victoria, Prince Albert, Champagne, Linnaeus, Mitchell's Grey Eagle, Randall's Early Prolific and Britannia. And, at this time Mitchell had introduced a variety under the name of Royal Albert (syn. Early Albert).
In 1882 the RHS laid down rhubarb trials at Chiswick to eliminate the confusion of names.
In the 1890's confusion was created that I feel must be cleared up, that of Dawes Champion. Mr Daws of Kew Bridge raised three varieties of rhubarb, Daws Champion, The Sutton and Daws Ruby. Mr Theodore Dawes of Kings Lynn raised varieties known as Dawes Champion and Dawes Challenge.
The Streeter was produced in the late 1890' s by F. Streeter of County Kildare.
Glaskin's Perpetual, raised in Brighton was first listed in 1920 as garden rhubarb.
Timperly Early has the ability to force well and be the earliest of all varieties. It was raised by Mr Baldwin of Timperly in Cheshire in the 1920's and was kept within the family until 1947 when the Baldwin brothers sold up.
Many of the modem varieties were developed at Stockbridge House near Cawood in Yorkshire. These include all the varieties that have Stockbridge or Cawood in their name.
In 1877 the first consignments of rhubarb forced in Leeds reached the northern markets. In 1878 it was sent to Covent Garden. At this time Joseph Whitwell of Kirkstall was the largest grower of forced rhubarb in the north of England. By the end of the century Lancashire and Cheshire were also forcing rhubarb.
The original "Rhubarb Triangle" was not a triangle but more of a rectangle, from Leeds and Bradford to Meltham and Wakefield. The boundaries were forced due to industrialism and the high price of land. In 1937 8,175 acres of rhubarb was grown, 3819 in the West Riding. In 1980 the figure for the West Riding was 422 acres and has fallen even lower since that time. One of the main reasons for decline has been the selling off of smaller farms for building and development.
An interesting point to note is that all the early rhubarb was grown in the south of England and yet rhubarb growing is very much a Yorkshire tradition.