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Hedging implement known as a 'Manks Spade'

Date made: 19th century

Maker: unknown

Description: This is a Manks Spade, from The Craig, Andreas. One of the earliest references to the Manks Spade comes in 1521, when it is referred to by this name in an inventory. The Manks Spade was used for cutting blocks of turf to form a sod hedge, one of the most distinctive features of the Manx landscape.

This example has a possibly original handle, which has been broken and mended many years ago. The iron blade has a long tang extending up the shaft. This is secured with two rivets. The distinctive footbar is squeezed down inside the shaft socket. The T-shaped handle is secured by an iron loop rivetted to the shaft.

The Manks Spade must be derived from a very early iron impliment intended for use with poor and stoney soils. Although it shares common features with similar spades found in Ireland and the Scottish islands, it is a truely unique piece of Manx agricultural equipment.

Measurements: 94 x 30 x 6.5 cm

Materials: Wood, metal: iron

Object name: spade

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1954-6451

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