Godalming Museum, ref B980.9


These early nineteenth century tools were used in the sowing of wheat and, according to Gertrude Jekyll, sometimes used for pea and bean crops as well. This pair consists of two iron shafts, handles with wooden grips at one end, iron cones at the other ( for making the holes). The shafts are connected loosely at the bottom by a bar, which defines the spacing of the wheat seeds.

Gertrude Jekyll, in her book 'Old West Surrey' describes how the dibblers would have been used, "A labourer with a pair of dibbling-irons walked backwards accross the field, dibbling two lines of holes. Two children, six or seven years old, followed him, dropping a grain or two into each hole. It was said that dibbled wheat grew finer than any other...These irons are a little shorter than walking-sticks; their bluntly-pointed ends can be thrust into the ground at a fair pace, the two hands working alternately."


Jekyll, Gertrude
Old West Surrey, (London: Longmans, 1904)



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