Historical information

This quern was made from Harcourt granite. Querns were used for grinding wheat into flour. (Wooden handles missing from this catalogued object).It was most likely made on Mount Alexander, in spare time, by a quarry worker using his employer’s gang saw and other tools. Wheat is not now grown in Harcourt district . Early settlers engaged in cropping until they exhausted the fertility of the soil. This quern was utilized by a local pioneer who intended to be self-sufficient to the extent of grinding his own grain into flour.. Many local farmers sowed wheat immediately after clearing the land: raising of a wheat crop was evidence of use and improvement which, along with fencing and erecting other structures, was part of the mandatory steps to prove occupancy as a prelude to obtaining a Crown Grant for what had previously been deemed ‘crown land'


The quern is of interest as a symbol of the desire for self-sufficiency and as a demonstration of the extent to which granite could be worked and shaped by masonry tools.

Physical description

Quern, granite, square slab with raised metal centre shaft and one rounded piece of granite with off-centre hole and side ridges.