East Malling Trust Archive

East Malling is unique in the world as a research centre for horticulture, especially for tree fruit. For instance, one part of the site was devoted to fruit storage and housed a facility with cold stores designed and built to emulate the conditions onboard ships that carried fruit from around the world to the UK.

As well as the history of Bradbourne House and the Twisden family, part of our archive charts this scientific heritage. This began in 1913 when its founder requested money from the Board of Agriculture to start an experimental station to support local fruit growers in desperate need of help to combat problems with fruit growing in Kent, the ‘Garden of England’. The pressures of wartime on the research station, and the growers that it supported, forced research activity to all but stop in favour of growing food. Evelyn Dunbar (1906-1960), the only official female war artist in the Second World War, spent most of her life in Kent where she painted works such as ‘A 1944 Pastoral: Land Girls Pruning at East Malling’. The original painting is now on display in the Manchester City Gallery.

There is no other research station in the UK like East Malling and our archive collections are unique.

Below is a small selection of images from the archive. If you would like to see more, please contact us and we will be pleased to help.

1. Annual Reports

We have Annual Reports dating back to the 1920s. Here is a taster selection of pages from early Annual Reports. If you would like to see more, please contact us.

2. Beginnings letter

When Wellington’s idea for a Research Station in Kent first began, he had to persuade the Ministry that this was necessary. Here is a letter that marked the start of the East Malling story.