A Partridge and a Pear Tree

web Partridge and Pear Tree (c) Museums WorcestershireAs Christmas approaches traditional songs & carols will echo throughout the land, none more than “On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me…” finishing with the chorus ending of “…and a partridge in a pear tree.”

Worcester City Museum has long been noted for its rich and varied natural history collection. From its early days of the 1830s right up to the present it has amassed thousands of specimens.

Here we have the Grey or Common Partridge, a rapidly declining native game bird. Like the other counties of England, Worcestershire has seen their numbers rapidly decrease in the last 50 years or so. This late 19th century specimen comes from the collection of Robert Fisher Tomes of South Littleton and is just one of many that have a South Worcestershire provenance.

The timber sample of a pear came to us from H. Munro, a forester on the Witley Court estate. The pear is symbolic to Worcestershire not only appearing on the county and city crest, the famous Worcester Black Pear tree, but also in the cultivation of Perry pears and the dessert varieties we find on our table today.

Garston D. Phillips

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