The Prince Bishops once grew pineapples in the grounds of Auckland Castle to flaunt their wealth and status.
Archeologist found traces of two 200 year old glass houses that had been housed within the 300 year old walled garden of the medieval castle in Bishop Aucklad.
These glass houses were also know as pinerises and are thought to be the oldest in the region. They were used to grow a variety of other exotic fruits too.
Pineapple growing was a huge status symbol and today a could be compared with owning a Lamborghini.
Pineapples, were said to have grown in popularity after the exotic fruits were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. They are known as the ‘king of fruits’ as they were so rare and expensive in the 18th Century. It is thought that a single pineapple could be sold for as much as £5000 a time.
Owning a pinery would have been a real status symbol, and its not surprising that the Prince Bishop, who was the second most powerful main in the country after the monarch would want one.
It’s thought that the pineapples would have been used as an elaborate decoration as well as an edible fruit.
Archaeologists have also found signs of dwarf bananas and a separate walled orchard plus a vinery alongside the glasshouses. It is thought that the glasshouses were heated via furnaces fed by coal from the bishops own pits
To celebrate the pineapples place in local history these beautiful floral displays were created by local volunteers in St Peter’s Chapel which is widely acknowledged as the largest private chapel in Europe.