One of the rarest apples to have been discovered growing in the UK has been found on the boughs of an ancient apple tree in the National Trust walled garden at Llanerchaeron, near Aberaeron.

DNA has revealed that this unique variety is found in only five other locations in the United Kingdom, four of which are in Ireland and one in Cornwall.

The sprawling and somewhat gnarled tree, which bears fruit in abundance every autumn, has remained nameless for many years after it’s original name was long lost and forgotten.

The apple was recently registered under the name ‘Llanerchaeron Peach’ by members of the Welsh charity Marcher Apple Network, as a result of its shape and delicious peachy colour.

It's likely that the tree was originally planted by former gardeners who may have considered it a dessert or culinary apple. But despite its attractive peachy colour,  head gardener Alex Summer reveals that its ‘slight washing up liquid flavour’ may not be to everyone’s taste.

‘It really is a real honour to be the custodian of such an important collection of heritage apples, and I hope that we’ll now be able to uncover more about the true origins of the Llanerchaeron Peach,” he said.

“How and why this apple was planted at Llanerchaeron is a mystery which adds to the orchard’s rich history’....even if it does taste a bit like washing up liquid."

Llanerchaeron’s 18th century walled garden, which has been producing fruit and vegetables for over 200 years, is home to a further 53 varieties of heritage apple.

Its grand espaliers are among the most historic apple trees in the orchard, the oldest being a majestic Bramley while other familiar favourites include Egremont Russet, Ashmead’s Kernel, and the famous Welsh Bardsey apple.

Cared for by National Trust Cymru, the elegant Georgian villa is surrounded by a traditional Welsh working estate, together with a productive walled garden.

This weekend, National Trust Cymru is inviting people to explore traditional orchards at their gardens and estates across Wales to mark National Apple Day on Saturday, October 21.

The Walled Garden at Llanerchaeron is open Wednesday to Sunday throughout October.