Shropshire Prune is the definitive northern English damson. Its origins are not known, and it seems probable that there is no single "Shropshire Prune" variety but several closely-related varieties that have been cultivated from wild seedlings in various parts of north-west England. Reflecting this diverse background the Shropshire Prune also has plenty of synonyms - including the Cheshire Damson, Westmoreland Damson, and Prune Damson. Shropshire Prune can be distinguished by the relatively small compact tree habit, and the fruit which is more elongated than many other damsons.
The centre of commercial damson production in the UK is the Lyth Valley in Cumbria and Shropshire Prune (or its close relations) is the most widely planted variety in this area.
Shropshire Prune is a hardy tree, although not has hardy as some other damson varieties. It is also not (at least by damson standards) a very heavy cropper. However it is generally considered to have the richest flavour of any damson and this is the main reason for preferring it, although in our experience some other damson varieties are just as good in practice.