cweorn, f.n: a mill, hand-mill, quern. (“kway-orn”)


Image and text from Jorvik Artefact Gallery: “These fragments are just two of many found at Jorvik, all parts of rotary querns similar to the complete pair also shown here. Rotary querns were used to grind cereals to make flour, and were thus important domestic utensils in every home; they were used in pairs, the central hole being for a spindle or axle around which the top stone was turned. The grain was fed through the same hole, and the action of turning the upper stone against the lower ground the grain into flour. These fragments are made of lava, which was imported from the Mayen area in the Eifel Mountains of what is now south-west Germany. Although local stone could be used to make querns (the complete pair is made of coarse-grained sandstone from the Pennines), lava was preferred because the surface remained rough despite continual use, and also ~ unlike the sandstone ~ there were no grits in it that could be loosened from the stone and find their way into the flour – and the bread!”

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