There was no frost, the blossom survived and cider will pour freely in the valley...
It’s safe to say that we’re passionate about the history of Devon Cider here at Darts Farm and alongside our good friends at Sandford Orchards, who craft their amazing cider in Crediton, we are excited to share the tale of Franklin's Night...
Crediton and cider go way back, even before the Sandford Orchard Cider Works was built in 1935. So far in fact, that it even plays a part in a piece of old Devon Folklore as the setting for the tale of Franklin’s Nights. Maps from less than one hundred years ago show that Crediton was ‘The Town in an Orchard’ and there is little surprise that there are many stories and tales that tie the valley, it’s orchards and cider together.
“In the Creedy Valley there was once an Exeter brewer called Franklin who became worried about losing sales of his ale to the more popular ciders. In desperation he sold his soul to the Devil on condition that on three specific nights in May he would send frosts to destroy the cider apple blossom. Since then it has always been believed that the apple crop was at risk of failure during three specific nights, namely the 17th, 18th and 19th of May.” A wonderful 19C writer captured Crediton and it’s devotion to cider perfectly in his ‘book of the west‘.
It’s hard to believe any Devon Brewer would sell their soul for money, and to spite the local apple growers – but remember, ’tis only folklore! These nights are known as Franklin Nights even today we still cast a cautious eye around on ‘Franklin’s’.
Join us in the Darts Farm Restaurant on Friday 21st May as we enjoy a Franklin's Night Feast in celebration of Devon Cider.
For us, nothing says Spring like a delicious lamb roast accompanied by minted, seasonal veg and garlic butter new potatoes!
A super exciting announcement!