Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Do you know what this is?
I am fairly sure of what it is, but I'd love to hear what other people think.
It's fairly big - about 2 feet long (60 cm) with the hook part at the end about 10" (25 cm). The wood it is made from is Ash.
Answer: This was known as a Fagging Stick:
'the smooth-edged hook succeeded the serrated sickle for reaping corn in many places about 1860-1870. Fagging tools have sharp blades and are heavier and wider than sickles and used with a different action. Instead of grasping the corn, the reaper held back the stalks or drew them towards him with a short crook called a fagging stick and slashed through the straw rather than sawing it as with a sickle. A larger quantity of corn was cut at one swing, though time was taken up with sharpening the blade. The hooks are still used today for trimming hedges and cutting crops close to hedges or walls that cannot be reached by machine.'
Many thanks to http://england.prm.ox.ac.uk/englishness-harvesting-tools.html for the excellent description.
So as you can see, several of you were going along the right lines. I love these pieces of our farming history, and this one won't be going anywhere for a while - we will just enjoy it here and probably put it on a beam in the kitchen (as you do!)