NMS-0CDBC5: Roman quern stone

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: NMS-0CDBC5

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Almost complete upper stone from a Late Iron Age - Roman rotary quern of East Anglian type dating to the period c. AD 1 - 100. The stone is "bun-shaped" as is typical for quern stones of this type, the sides gently sloping to generate a broad conical profile with a rounded top which is somewhat damaged, although it is unclear whether this occurred during working, or subsequently. It exhibits a central conical perforation forming the hopper; the interior surface is well-worn. At the bottom of the hopper are the corroded remains of the iron spindle sleeve. The grinding surface has been worn smooth. The outer edge is highly polished and exhibits traces of concentric grooves, indicating heavy usage. There are several chips around the circumference, at least one of which appears to have occurred after deposition.

On one side of the stone is a conical handle hole, the interior worked smooth. It does not penetrate the hopper. At the bottom of the perforation are traces of iron staining, possibly from a missing handle attachment. Around the circumference of the stone, near the base are traces of a corroded iron band. Phillips (1950, 76) notes that due to the difficulty of working puddingstone, breakages during the boring of handle holes were frequent, therefore many examples were fitted with a hoop, usually of iron, around the lower part of the stone, to which a handle, or handles, may be attached. There appears to be some damage or crumbling around the handle hole, possibly caused during working. It is likely that the iron band and iron fitting within the handle hole were added as a consequence of this.

Phillips (ibid, 76 - 77) states "That the iron hoop was not an original feature of this type of rotary quern at its introduction into the area is suggested by the fact that a half-finished handle hole or broken handle hole is occasionally present with a groove or band of rust presumably superimposed upon it because it has been found impossible either to finish or renew the hole without completely wrecking the grinding surface."

It would appear that this has occurred during manufacture of this example.

There are several known sources of puddingstone used in manufacturing Late Iron Age and Roman quern stones in Britian. This example exhibits large well-rounded orange-brown flint pebbles with grey-black rinds in a pale grey silcrete matrix typical of Hertfordshire puddingstone (Green, C, 2017, p. 171). This fits well with the known distribution pattern for querns manufactured from this type of stone, of which a number of previous examples have been recorded from Norfolk, including examples found at Dereham (HER 2825), Runhall (HER 8845), Riddlesworth (HER 29007), Scarning (HER 49970) & Matlask (HER 51107).

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 1
Date to: Circa AD 100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 118 mm
Diameter: 264 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 7th August 1948 - Saturday 7th August 1948

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Julie Shoemark
Identified by: Miss Julie Shoemark

Other reference numbers

SMR reference number: 63201
Other reference: IND12102018JS

Materials and construction

Primary material: Stone
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Norfolk (County)
District: North Norfolk (District)
Parish or ward: Plumstead (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TG1134
Four figure Latitude: 52.86210493
Four figure longitude: 1.13298432
1:25K map: TG1134
1:10K map: TG13SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMS
Created: 3 months ago
Updated: About one month ago

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