Mr Stowe on bitels

In our previous blog entry, Mr Stowe on basket making, we referred to the book on countryside crafts, written by this former headmaster of Market Lavington School.

Chapter 19 in his book is called Bitels. We have met these wooden mallets before, variously called a beetle or A Boitle and have the head of one in our museum.

Mr Stowe devoted several pages of his book explaining how these were made.

They were made from apple wood with an ash handle.

The bitel or boitle head in Market Lavington Museum was used by the Smith family of pond diggers. They and their trade feature in another of Edgar Stowe’s chapters, which we will consider in a future blog entry.

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