Quern Stone
Cromarty Courthouse Museum

Quern stones were used to grind a range of cereals and grains into flour. This made them incredibly valuable to the homelives of those in the medieval period as a way of benefiting directly from their crops within the home. They were created from two round stones, with the upper stone having a handle attached to it to turn whilst the lower stone remained stationary. Grain was placed between the stones and ground to form flour when the upper stone was rotated.  

This stone dates from the late-Medieval period and was one of several such stones found during the Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project excavations which took place between 2013 and 2016.   

Stone is a durable material, partly explaining why many Highland museums have one in their collection.  

However, we also get a good idea of how commonplace they once were, and how many people depended on them for small-scale food production before the advent of more advanced milling technology. Some quern stones were also repurposed in later building work, showing inventiveness with available materials.  

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Date: 1400s
Materials : Stone
Size : 48cm x 44cm x 5cm

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