One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of a number of crossbars in a mineshaft, serving as supports or steps.
- ‘A nerve testing traverse across a ninety foot deep stope on wooden stemples gets the adrenalin pumping, especially when trying to balance on one whilst taking photos!’
- ‘The entrance drops steeply down over boulders to the head of the first pitch (rigging guide) where there is a stemple which did not, however, give the pot its name.’
- ‘Underground, many artefacts can be seen, including stemples supporting stacked deads, ladders, pump rods and pipes, pulleys, ore tubs, windlasses, guide chutes and timbers.’
- ‘As the passage continues there is a section of rotten flooring supported on dubious stemples just above head height.’
- ‘A bit of extra fun was three stemples a few inches above the water which had to be ducked.’
Mid 17th century: perhaps related to German Stempel.
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