Thomas Pakenham

The Squires Walking Stick at Tullynally

This is the ‘Squires Walking Stick’, the common oak (Quercus robur) planted about 1745 here by my great-great-great-great grandfather and namesake, Thomas Pakenham, the squire of Tullynally.

It’s unusually tall and straight – in fact 115 feet tall, one of the tallest oaks in Ireland. I assume it was once part of a grove of oaks in the demesne, mixed with other woodland trees like Scotch pines, larch and beech. They would have shaded out its lower branches and given it the form of a column which makes it such a delight today.


Thomas Pakenham is the 8th Earl of Longford. He lives in Tullynally Castle in Co Westmeath. Thomas has written numerous prize-winning books on the diverse subjects of Victorian and post-Victorian British history and trees.