Blackthorn Walking Sticks | Irish Blackthorn | Walking Stick | Scarce
Do you own one of these prestigious Blackthorn Walking Sticks? Why not have a quick read below to see how difficult they are to get your hands on!
The Blackthorn Stick is famous throughout many parts of the world but these are getting scarcer and scarcer to come by each year.
The Blackthorn is actually a member of the Prunis family, included in this are the Peach & Cherry tree. White flowers appear in Spring, the fruit from the Blackthorn is called a sloe and while quite bitter it is used to flavour sloe gin.
Producers of a Blackthorn are finding it ever more difficult to obtain suitable blackthorns to make these prestige sticks.
The Blackthorn usually grows to about 2 feet and then the stem starts to branch out but this is far too short for a Blackthorn stick which today would be about 3 feet in length. Another problem is obtaining a stick with a round cross section as opposed to an oval one. These two problems along make finding a suitable blackthorn very hard.
With more and more green belts being built on there are fewer and fewer places to be able to find blackthorns growing of the right length and cross section to produce one of these famous sticks. As the supply dwindles and demand increases so the prices increase.
Some manufacturers have resorted to making these from man made material but www.irishshopper.com still sell only the true Blackthorn made using the real Blackthorn and the traditional curing methods to harden the stick.
There are several methods used in the past to cure the stick including rubbing lard / butter all over the stick and putting it up the chimney for around 18 months or alternatively leaving it in a manure heap !
In Ireland the stick is a prize possession handed down from father to son. Originally known as the Irish Shillelagh after the name of the forest in County Wicklow known as the Garden of Ireland these were originally made of Oak and the national weapon of Ireland. In fighting they were held tight to your chest and were around 4 foot long. Towards the end of the British occupation of Ireland the British actually banned the Shillelagh. The Irish came up with a shorter version around 3 feet long which they called the Irish Blackthorn or Shillelagh Walking Stick.
The head or knob of the stick comes in various shapes and designs with the bulb shape being the most popular. This bulb is actually the root of the Blackthorn.
In rural Ireland these were presented to male teenagers as a sort of coming of age presentation and were always much treasured.
Today there are used with great pride by walkers all over the world who would not leave their home on foot without their much prized Blackthorn. Each off course are different.
Officers in the Irish Regiments of the British Army are issued with these and used on ceremonial occasions. Irish Shopper have told me they have had a number ordered as presents by families of those on reaching the rank of Sergeant Major.
To secure your very own unique Blackthorn stick NOW before supplies of the Blackthorn dwindle any further surf along to http://www.irishshopper.com.
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