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ROMAN PUDDINGSTONE QUERN (PART OF) - Saffron Walden, Essex

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Home > PREVIOUSLY SOLD ITEMS > PREVIOUSLY SOLD BRITISH MINERALS, ROCKS AND RELATED ITEMS


ROMAN PUDDINGSTONE QUERN (PART OF)

Probably made between
​​​​​​​AD 50 and AD 100


Saffron Walden, Essex
 
Part of a Hertfordshire puddingstone quern that was found in the 1990s on a building site in Saffron Walden.​​​​​​​

A quern is a simple mill for grinding corn, consisting of two stones, the upper of which is rotated by hand. They were first used in Neolithic times and various stones have been used, but during a short period of the Roman occupation of Britain, Hertfordshire puddingstone was the stone of choice.

They are widely distributed over eastern England (over 700 have been recorded) and Hertfordshire puddingstone quern production must have been a substantial industry. It was a good choice of stone because it is a tough rock that wore slowly, and the exposed flints produced a good grinding surface, but they must have been extremely difficult to make.


Querns like this are often known as ‘beehive’ querns because of their shape, although this example is flatter. It has broken at some time, but the side of the vertical hole, or hopper, can be clearly seen, as can the flat grinding surface. It may have been accidentally broken during the cutting of the hole.


Hertfordshire Puddingstone was formed about 60 million years ago as layers of flint pebbles were laid down by the sea across HertfordshireDuring the Ice Age, about half a million years ago, pieces of puddingstone were carried by the early Thames from Hertfordshire across East Anglia. The stone was therefore widely available as isolated boulders, although the material for querns was probably quarried in Hertfordshire.​​​​​​​

Click on a picture for a larger image


Size:  18 x 14 x 12 centimetres
Weight:  2.83 kilograms

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ROMAN  PUDDINGSTONE  QUERN (PART OF) - Saffron Walden, Essex
ROMAN  PUDDINGSTONE  QUERN (PART OF) - Saffron Walden, Essex ROMAN  PUDDINGSTONE  QUERN (PART OF) - Saffron Walden, Essex ROMAN  PUDDINGSTONE  QUERN (PART OF) - Saffron Walden, Essex ROMAN  PUDDINGSTONE  QUERN (PART OF) - Saffron Walden, Essex