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1 A collar of rope round a mast to support the standing rigging and prevent it from chafing the mast. In the earliest days of sail, when ships only had single pole masts, the tops were circular or semicircular platforms built round the masts, and that part of the pole mast above the top was known as the topmast. The only mark on the mast above the top was the garland which supported the stays, and that part of the pole mast above the garland was known as the ‘top-garland’ mast, which may have become topgallant.

2 The wreath of carved wood, most often in the form of foliage, which for decorative purposes surrounded the circular ports cut in the sides of the forecastle and quarterdeck of warships for the upper-deck guns.

3 The racks between the gun carriages and around the hatches on the gun-decks of wooden warships, with holes cut for the stowage of shot, were known as shot garlands.

4 A small circular net extended by a wooden hoop slung from the beam above each mess in a warship in which seamen could stow their provisions to keep them beyond the reach of cats, cockroaches, rats, etc. It would also take a mug of beer or rum since, as it swung with the movement of the ship, there was no danger of spillage. See also wedding garland.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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