Timbers for Harp Construction

A source for the creation of new harps

Present-day makers of early Irish harps generally have great difficulty sourcing large trunks of willow (salix), a wood traditionally used to make early-Irish-harp sound boxes (resonating chambers). The HHSI’s response to this issue is to begin a collaboration with a bio-engineering company to access large willow trunks felled in the course of their environmental regeneration projects that would otherwise be discarded.

Our aims here are  

  • to have these processed and stored so that they are in a useable condition for harp making
  • to make appropriately sized pieces available to harp builders in Ireland, Britain and continental Europe – and possibly further afield – at cost, suitable to produce medieval- to 18th-century Irish harps. 

The first experimental felling and milling of large trees has now taken place in the south of England, and the willow gained from this cycle may be available later in 2024. Please contact us for more information. 

The HHSI would like to thank Simon Cain, Cain Bio-Engineering Ltd, and HHSI volunteer, Frank Colcord, for their kind assistance on this new project.