We found several wooden spades on the wreck. All were made to the same design and all manufactured out of one piece of solid beech. To start with, there was much speculation as to their original use on board the ship.
I personally felt that they were used in the bread room for shovelling grain. My reasoning for this idea was that on display in the Calshot flour Mill museum, Isle of Wight, are almost identical spades.
The fact that they were made from one piece of wood suggested that they could be used in the powder magazine. However, close examination identified iron staining on the back of the shovel's blade. In fact, in antiquity there would have been an iron protection pad on each one in addition to iron strengthening braces between the handle and the blade.
Finally, Arthur Mack identified that it was common practice to shift the gravel ballast in the hold in order to trim the ship and documentation showed that wooden shovels were used for this purpose. The iron protection plates would have stopped the back of the blade wearing our too quickly on the gravel and with this type of use they would certainly need the iron strengtheners.

So then, these spades were used for "shifting gravel ballast in order to trim the ship"

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Beech. Carved in 1 piece. Marked with ->, blade broken and some very minor shrinkage on handle. Material in superb condition. Material in excellent condition and fully stable. This item is now on display in Fort Ligonier, Nova Scotia.

Fragment of wooden spade. Blade broken in half and measuring 220 x 210 mm. overall length including remains of handle 530mm. Some shrinkage on handle but otherwise stable. Now in a private collection.
Beech. Degraded & incomplete. Blade in 2 pieces now glued together.Concretion stains on back and -> on front. Gribble worm attack on right side of blade and end handle. Now in a private collection.