While most finds I deal with are found in fields or gardens I do get the occasional find from building work. This upper stone from a late Medieval or Post Medieval pot quern was found while the owner was taking down a wall of an old barn, probably previously a house, in Combwich. It recorded on the database as SOM-D9C047.
Pot querns have two parts, the upper stone and the larger lower stone which is ‘pot shaped’ with raised sides around a central recess within which the upper stone sits. A spout is cut into the side of the lower stone through which the meal exits. Evidence from Winchester suggests they were in use from the mid 12th century. A similar example to this but with only one handle lug and a splay flanking the slot on the base was found in a late 13th century context in the priory kitchen in Exeter with part of a base. The stone is lava; querns of imported German lava were popular in the later Medieval period.
Documentary evidence suggests the continued use of hand querns into the Post Medieval period. They were replaced by examples with cranked handles and gears in the 17th century. Pot querns have been found in 17th century contexts, usually in rubble and hardcore, but it is not clear if they are residual or were recycled as hardcore when the new style of quern replaced them. The find spot of this example, in rubble fill, reinforces this pattern.