Keys to the Past

Glossary

Quern; Quern stones

Querns are simple carved stones used to grind stone to make corn. The oldest type is known as a saddle quern. These have a larger slab of stone as the base. The corn is the placed on the slab, and a smaller stone is used to grind the corn. It is called a saddle stone because the base slab becomes ground away in the centre making it appear a little like a saddle. These usually date to the prehistoric period. The other main type of quern is the rotary quern. This is made up of two circular pieces of stone with a hole through them. A small wooden handle is usually placed in the top one slightly off-centre. This is then used to rotate the top stone against the bottom one. Corn is fed through the central hole.

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