The Herefordshire Pomona

The Herefordshire Pomona by Henry Graves Bull (General Editor) and Robert Hogg (Technical Editor)

Introduced by Darren Bloodworth of C Arden Booksellers, Hay-on-Wye

The Herefordshire Pomona is a 19th century catalogue of the apples and pears that were grown in Herefordshire, the English county next to Hay-on-Wye.  The Herefordshire Pomona was one of the first attempts to fully catalogue the existing varieties of English fruit and is classic of late Victorian natural history. Only 600 copies were ever printed and originals now fetch high prices whenever they are sold.

Over a period of about ten years in the late 19th century, the Pomona Committee of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club of Hereford held an annual autumn show featuring the local varieties of apples and pears. The club members were worried that although Herefordshire was famous for its orchards many of the best varieties did not appear in fruit shops and markets.

At the behest of the committee, Dr Robert Hogg, at the time Vice-President of the Royal Horticultural Society, author of The Fruit Manual, and editor of the RHS Journal; and local doctor and former president of the Woolhope club, Dr Henry Graves Bull, catalogued and described the fruit displayed at the shows. The descriptions were painstakingly illustrated over a period of eight years by Alice Blanche Ellis and Edith Elizabeth Bull, Robert’s daughter.

Darren Bloodworth at C Arden Booksellers in Hay has a set of The Herefordshire Pomona, which he introduces here:  

herefordshire pomona c arden.jpg
Published Jakeman and Carver 1876-1885 in a two volume Folio set. Some minor foxing otherwise the contents are in fine condition. Complete with 77 fine colour chromo-lithographed plates. Handsomely bound in original green half-morocco which is in fine condition. TEG. A lovely provenance – this set has the armorial bookplate of ‘John Hopton of Can-Frome in the County of Hereford’ on the front paste-downs of both volumes. Only 600 sets of this work were ever produced – a super set of this scarce work.



If you are in Hay, do visit C Arden Booksellers. Darren would be happy to show you this copy of this very rare book that is also an important part of our local history and heritage.

Richard Booth’s Bookshop in Hay has a copy of The Folio Society edition of The Herefordshire Pomodora.  This edition, limited to 980 copies, is the first ever produced since the original printing.

Here The Folio Society introduce The Herefordshire Pomodora and their special edition:

What is immediately and strikingly apparent is that The Herefordshire Pomona is a book of great beauty. The images of apples and pears have such vitality, such lustre, they could almost be picked from the page. The plates in the original edition are lauded as masterpieces of chromolithography and are rendered here with great fidelity by modern printing methods.

Though commissioned in Herefordshire, this Pomona was to become a record and a guide to identification for varieties grown throughout the British Isles, many of which were originally imported from America and mainland Europe, thus giving it a relevance to fruit-growing worldwide.

The pages of The Herefordshire Pomona are a treasure trove of engaging historical anecdotes and apt verses, as well as guides to propagation, analyses of juice and notes on the quality of ciders. With Hortus Eystettensis, The Surinam Album and The Temple of Flora, amongst others, it shares a noble literary heritage of natural history going back at least as far as Pliny the Elder.


Production details:

    • Plates volume
    • 15″ × 11¾”
    • 77 plates; 176 pages
    • Printed on Tatami
    • Quarter bound in Indian goatskin and canvas
    • Gilded top edge
    • Ribbon marker
    • Text volume
    • 15″ × 11¾”
    • 176 pages
    • Numerous integrated line illustrations
    • Set in Bulmer
    • Printed on Munken Pure
    • Bound in full canvas
    • Ribbon marker
    • Solander presentation box
    • 16½” × 12¾”
    • Bound in canvas cloth
  • Four full-size plates for framing accompany each edition
  • Printed on Tatami
  • Presented in an envelope

For more details see their website:



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