Friday, 19 April 2013

Quern =Nose to the Grindstone

Q is for Quern - As in quern stones and Quernium

Yes! - I’m still continuing my Celtic/ Roman Britain AD 71-84 theme for my A to Z Challenge.

So what’s a quern?  

It’s a primitive stone for hand grinding. 

During the era of Celtic/ Roman Britain AD 71-84 a quern was used to grind cereals into flour. The Celts of northern Britannia grew wheat and other cereal crops like oats, which were ground down to be used for bread making, and for making oatmeal or a gruel porridge- thin and thick.

To grind the grains by hand the lower stone, called the quern, was stationary and an upper handstone was rotated above. The grains lay in between and the ground grains fell into the funnelled indentation.

The handstone was sometimes held in position with a pivot that fitted into a central hole in the bottom stone. The upper stone had a socket for a wooden peg which was used as a handle to make rotation of the upper stone an easier process. The ones displayed were of the earliest types to be used in Britannia during the Iron Age of the Celts.

My Q today is also for Quernium but if you look that up I’ll be surprised if you find anything. My sequel to The Beltane Choice, my writing in progress, mentions a number of small Roman forts which were built in northern Brigante lands. It is now known that many of these small forts were probably built during the tenure of Quintus Petilius Cerialis approx AD 71-74 rather than a few years later by Gnaeus Julius Agricola. When including some of the forts in my novel I’ve chosen names I feel are appropriate –either from a place that currently exists on the map of the area, or based on names which seem suitable to me.

As such one of my forts is named Quernium- a sort of Latinised form of Quern.  



  1. I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. If you choose to accept, the rules are posted on my blog.

    1. Hello Barb. I did the Liebster Award just a couple of months ago but thank you for thinking of me.

  2. Very interesting and detailed. I hopped on over from my blog at GenWestUK.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)