A birch rod (often shortened to “birch”) is a bundle of leafless twigs bound together to form an implement for administering corporal punishment, typically applied to the recipient’s bare buttocks, although occasionally to the back and/or shoulders.

The birch was commonly used as a means of domestic discipline, and was used in British and European schools up until the 19th Century. Its use as a form of adult judicial punishment continued into the 20th Century and in the Isle of Man it was still in use up until 1976.

The birch was also used on offending male youths until the mid-1960s on the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey.

Sting pictures have produced a number of excellent enactments of various judicial birchings, including the superb Guernsey Birching scene from “Instruments of Persuasion Part 2” staring Barry, images from which can be viewed below:

An arrogant young scoundrel.

The just sentence

Not so arrogant now!

He’ll think long and hard before he misbehaves again!


By Bruce

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