When analysing the search box statistics, i.e what our customers search for on our site, Blackthorn walking canes are usually one of the top searches. We have in stock a number of different Blackthorn walking canes, including knobsticks, hiking sticks, Derby canes, wading sticks and traditional Irish Blackthorn Shillelagh.
We have recently added a new page on the website, which groups all of the Blackthorn sticks together. Click on the folowing link to take a look: Blackthorn Walking Sticks.
Blackthorn wood from the Blackthorn bush (prunus spinosa) has been traditionally used to make walking sticks and shillelaghs for a long time.
The Blackthorn bush is common to the North European countryside with its dense spiny branches and familiar sloe berries in autumn.
The wood is cut in winter, usually December or January when the sap has gone. The stick is then seasoned, i.e left to dry out in a dry store, for several years and then the straightening and turning work begins.
When the branches are selected for stickmaking, the spikes can be left on the shaft or sanded down, leaving lovely bare wood circles all over the shaft. The colour of the bare wood against the dark purple/black of the bark gives a pleasing contrast.
The natural range of the tree is Britain and Ireland and the Irish have been making Shillelagh for centuries.
Shillelagh, like the South African Knobkierrie, also spelled knobkerrie, knopkierie or knobkerry were used as fighting sticks. Today they are more of a collectible item.
The other parts of the tree that are used by humans are the sloes.
Sloes are covered with sugar and gin and result in a n almond-flavoured liquer. Cooked sloes are also used to make jams or jellies.