Sunday 13 October 2013

Ancient Tools From the Mary Rose.

We visited the new Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth today. The war ship Mary Rose was commissioned by Henry VIII in 1510 and sunk in the Solent in 1545, so everything in the museum dates from between these dates. The table above is a well used butchers block with through tenons.

There were a large number of carpentry tools found showing just how important wood was in those days.
I can't remember the last time I saw a plane dating from the early 1500's at the David Stanley auctions.
These moulding planes look very comfortable.

A marking gauge, gimlets and large mallet.

Saws and a brace, the metal parts have long since corroded away.

There were lots of wooden chests, the more robust ones such as this one were nicely dovetailed at the corners.

Here is the skeleton of the ships dog, a well suited breed for catching rats. Next to him is a folding backgammon board.

More chests.

The tree below shows how important the master carpenter was on board ship.

The carpentry shop was sited on the upper deck, another sign of importance.

Here's Nelson's HMS Victory, we'll save that for another day.

Finally the obligatory photograph next to Henry VIII, he was a big lad!


  1. Great pictures! England has such a rich history with so much to see it's a paradise for a history junkie like me. I had a stop over on my way back from the middle east, but didn't have time to see anything. Hopefully someday I make it back for now I will have to settle for watching Time Team episodes on Youtube.

  2. It would be interesting if the museum would allow you to take measurements of one of the planes so you could make a reproduction David. It would be a great display item for your shows and teaching activities. regards Barry

    1. I'm sure they would if I asked, although Richard Arnold is the one for reproducing the old planes. All the best, David.