Historical information

This historic bronze nail dates back to 1840s when the ship Grange was built. Nails such as this one were used for boat building, as deck fasteners and many other uses. This nail was made at a time when the shanks of nails were usually machine cut but the heads were hand formed by blacksmiths. The nail was recovered from the shipwreck of the Grange in around 1968, 110 years after the Grange was wrecked (see below for further details on the Grange). It is part of the John Chance Collection.

Flagstaff Hill's Collection has a similar nail is from the wreck of the wooden barque Cataraqui, which was built in 1840 in Canada.

THE GRANGE, 1840-1858-

The wooden barque ’Grange’ was a three-masted ship built in Scotland in 1840 for international and coastal trade.

On March 22, 1858, the Grange set sail from Melbourne under Captain A. Alexander, carrying a cargo of ballast. The barque had left the Heads of Phillip Bay and was heading west along the Victorian coast towards Cape Otway. The ship struck Little Haley’s Reef at Apollo Bay due to a navigational error and was stuck on the rocks. The crew left the ship carrying whatever they could onto the beach. Eventually, the remains of the hull, sails and fittings were salvaged before the wreck of the Grange broke up about a month later.

About 110 years later, in 1968, the wreck of the Grange was found by divers from the Underwater Explorers Club of Victoria. They were amazed to find a unique, six to nine pound carronade (type of small cannon) and a cannonball on the site. There have been no other similar carronades recorded. In that same year the anchor of the Grange was recovered by diver John Chance and Mal Brown.


The nail is significant historically as an example of hardware used when building wooden ships in the early to mid-19th century.
The nail is historically significant as an example of the work and trade of blacksmith.
The nail also has significant as it was recovered by John Chance, a diver from the wreck of the Grange in the 1968. Items that come from several wrecks along Victoria's coast have since been donated to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village’s museum collection by his family, illustrating this item’s level of historical value.
The nail is historically significant for its association with the 1840s wooden barque, the Grange.
The Grange is an historical example of a Scottish built vessel used for international and coastal trader of both cargo and passengers in the mid-19th century.
The Grange is an example of an early ship, designed with a wooden hull. It is significant as a ship still available to divers along the south coast of Victoria, for research and education purposes.
The Grange is an example of a mid-19th century vessel that carried a weapon of defence onboard.

Physical description

Nail, bronze, oval head, four-sided shank, tip flattened to a rounded wedge shape. The surface is pitted and rough. There is orange and blue concretion on the shank. The nail is bent.