Due to the memorable story of its inception, it is an apple that engages the imagination and it is also both beautiful and delicious. The story goes that a ploughman was caught stealing apples from the Megginch Estate and shot dead by a gamekeeper. When his body was returned to his wife she found some of the stolen apples in his pockets and threw them onto the rubbish heap. One of the seedlings that arose from the heap bore apples of a deep, blood red. This tree was rescued and gave rise to the variety that was named after the unfortunate ploughman.
The Bloody Ploughman is part a culture of Scottish orchards that is worth preserving and restoring. Chefs and gardeners are once again beginning to request the variety to grow in their gardens and in schoolyards. The banks of the River Tay have a long and partially lost history of orchards and apples. Indeed many of these orchards are now housing estates. Fortunately there are some who care and are cataloguing remaining existing trees and starting to grow Community Orchards.
It was first recorded in 1883 and originates from the Carse of Gowrie, Scotland. It is a medium to large apple, flat-round in shape, with ribs. It has dark red skin, when ripe the crisp, juicy flesh can be stained pink. It has a sweet, light flavour and grows on a vigorous tree.
Fruit trees available from John Hancox, Scottish Fruit Trees, Glasgow. Click on enquiry.