Euonymus europaeus

The forepillar of the Dalway Harp is stated to be made of this wood. (Rimmer, 1969; 75). Native to Ireland it was identified by Fergus Kelly as the tree called 'Feorus' listed among 'lower divisions of the wood' in the Old Irish Tree list. Although indigenous to the British Isles it is not particularly common even where it flourishes best in the southern counties of England. It is said to be rare in Wales and Ireland and in Scotland almost unknown. The wood is hard and tough and does not break or splinter easily and was much used for making spinning wheel spindles, hence its most common name, although in Ireland it was also known as 'pegwood' due to shoemakers use of it for pegs for shoes, (Kew, 1897; 167-168). As a fine close grained wood, it's strength and ability to take fine carved detail fits with the finely carved Dalway forepillar. However, spindle-wood is little more than a large shrub come small tree with at best a usual maximum diameter of the trunk being no more than 20 cm, so it would have required an exceptional specimen to provide the wood for the Dalway's forepillar.

Submitted by Michael Billinge and Keith Sanger, 5 May, 2011.

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