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Gimballed compass


Found on the forwardmost part of the main deck, and believed to be in the Pilot’s cabin, is this gimballed compass or boat’s compass.

Found in a locked, well-made elm chest, this is a high-status object and one that needed specialist skills in navigation.

Gimbals are two concentric circles of interconnected brass strips. The inner one fitted tightly around the compass box and the outer was suspended within the outer box, which was round or square. This enabled the inner compass box to remain relatively level and stable when the ship was pitching or rolling in a seaway.