Monday, 20 April 2015

Q is for Querns and Quillets …




Quern-stones are stone tools for hand-grinding a wide variety of materials … in Cornwall Saddle Querns were used for grinding corn for bread.

c/o BBC - Saddle QuernsWayside Folk Museum


This object is part of a project ‘A History of Cornwall in 100 Objects’ … the three Bronze Age Saddle Querns were all from Zennor parish outside St Ives.



A more modern method of grinding corn
c/o Wayside Museum, Zennor


These type of Querns were replaced by rotary Querns in the Roman period, and then by water-powered mills.  These can be seen at the Wayside Museum, Zennor.





A Quern could not be a Quillet – it could not be Quibbled with, nor could it be a Quiddity … “a trifling argument, a quibble” from Medieval Latin quidditas “the essence of things” …


 
Perhaps some Quillets
Quillet is a secluded strip of land planted with early flowers, often found in the West Country, Cornwall in particular …





Another Quillet

… there the little sheltered fields of flowers – Cornish violets, daffodils, narcissi, anemones – are grown for human happiness and perhaps originally commercially to be sent up to the big smoke (London) once the railway had arrived.




Shakespeare makes merry with Quillets – Love Labour’s Lost; Hamlet; Othello; while Puck is recognised in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“… Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the Quern
And bootless make the housewife churn; …”


The Wayside Folk Museum, Zennor


The detail could be Quibbled with, or even Quilleted with … but it seems that small thin and narrow allotment style strips of land used for cultivation apply too …




That is Q for Quern and Quillets – just don’t drop a Quern on a Quillet, having Quibbled with a Quiddity neighbour, you would spoil your Quirky planting ... from Aspects of British Cornish …


PS: a Quoit is a single-chambered megalithic tomb (also called a dolmen), I could have used Q for Quoit but felt I've covered Standing Stones and tombs in various posts, particularly under N for Neolithic, so thought I'd go for something different.


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

51 comments:

Rosie Amber said...

Very good Q words, It can be a tricky letter to fill, but possible not if you live in Cornwall.

My Life in the Charente said...

I am learning a whole new vocabulary following your latest posts. Well done another interesting one. Have a good week Diane

Susan Scott said...

Lovely Hilary thank you for the way that your quill speaks! Loved the quirkiness of it! Those flowers - the quillets - are very beautiful. A lovely quilt of words thank you again!

Nilanjana Bose said...

I didn't know there was a museum in Zennor! Have to go back only to check it out. :) Seriously though, the amount of sheer physical work that went into making a few loaves back then makes me glad I didn't live in those times. The visuals are lovely, esp the flowers.

Ace Q post!

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I've never heard of a Quillet before - I shall have to remember that one :)
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Grinding has sure come a long way.

Out on the prairie said...

Native Americans used a similar stone. Glad I don't have to work so hard.Great usage of the Q.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Love learning from your posts!

Jo said...

Quite a revealing blog. I probably knew quern from doing Shakespeare in school and having it analysed word by word, but I had forgotten about it. Love the quillets.

Manzanita said...

I'm trying to get my tongue untwisted after reading this post out loud because I thought it would be a great early morning tongue exercise. Your Q's had me baffled and I learned something new again from your post.
Thanks, Hilary and enjoy the week.

mail4rosey said...

Q is a hard one but you did a great job!!

Deborah Barker said...

It cannot be time for 'Q' already! Yet it is. I enjoyed your Cornish Qs and those flowers, Quintessential of a Cornish summer, just make me want more of this gorgeous sunshine we have been enjoying. :-)

Bob Scotney said...

Definitely couldn't quibble at this. Hadn't heard the term quillet before. Quoits has always been a game to me.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Two new terms for me: Querns and Quillets. Both have their place in the world. One is for work and the other is for enjoyment.

Stephanie Bird said...

Well you put those of us A to Z'ers who find Q to be a challenging word that draws blanks, to shame. There is much that is curious and new for me to ponder and learn more about in this rich post.

Chrys Fey said...

I'd like to try querns and see how good I am at hand-grinding stuff. Sounds like fun.

Quillets are pretty! That's a new word for me, though.

Annalisa Crawford said...

So many Qs. Quillet is a great word - I've not heard the term before!

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Good grief, Hilary, you really took care of "Q"! What fun! You really make me want to travel to England to check out all these interesting things!

Bish Denham said...

One wonders if quilt isn't somehow related to quillets, which seem like a kind of pretty patchwork of flowers. And how old are those querns? If they are pre discovery of the new world would they have been used for grinding corn, which was only "discovered" sometime in the early 1500s.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Except for quibble, I've never heard those other words before. Lovely pictures of the early flowers. We're still enjoying the first blooms of spring.

Jeffrey Scott said...

I love the line, "Grown for human happiness".

cleemckenzie said...

These are all new Q words for me. Are they pronounced with /kw/ or /k/?

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I always think about how *much* upper body strength these folks used to have! Wow. I just pop things in the food processor now...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosie – thankfully the words for Q came .. usually I manage something!

@ Diane – just glad the posts are appreciated .. so I thank you ..

@ Susan – thanks so much for joining me with the Quill scenario .. it’s one of the posts I particularly enjoyed writing – it came easily ..

@ Nila – yes the Folk Museum … and I too am so glad I don’t have to grind my corn … and so glad the visuals bring the post to life …

@ Tasha – I kept “Quillet” as I knew it’d be a good word for my Q post and this A-Z challenge …

@ Alex – yes haven’t things moved on … thankfully

@ OOTP – the grinding stones are similar around the world, some still in use today … but I too am glad I don’t have to use one to get some bread …

@ Jennifer – good to meet you and thanks so much .. I’ll be over ..

@ Jo – yes Quern has come into use a bit more now – with all the archaeological information we get and the ‘how did they do that … ‘ scenarios; I was pleased with Quillet .. so thanks ..

@ Manzanita – glad you read the post out loud and had fun with it .. as I was writing it up that’s the way I was thinking .. I hope you’re slightly unbaffled now ..

@ Rosey – Q can be hard .. but thankfully these came along and I enjoyed all the Q words I could use ..

@ Deborah – I know April runs away … delighted you came to this post .. and yes Quintessential for a Cornish summer – and hasn’t the weather been glorious … I’ve need the sun this year ..

@ Bob – thanks, glad you can’t quibble … I picked Quillet up sometime through the year .. and yes quoits is also a fun family game …

@ Teresa – love your distinction between the two Qs … one for work and one for enjoyment …

@ Stephanie – thanks so much for that compliment .. I like overcoming problems … especially with the more difficult letters … I’d been hoarding ‘quillet’ for a while .. for this challenge! I’ll be over to see you ..

@ Chrys – I definitely know my wrists wouldn’t survive very long at all … so don’t go looking for a quern!? That’s great the quillets are pretty aren’t they ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa – thanks .. it’s my secret weapon for this year’s A –Z .. and the Q post .. I had fun with this one ..

@ Monti – it’s my favourite post so far … it was fun and simple to write up .. I hope you can get over to see us …

@ Bish – I’m sure weaving and the Persian carpets, the tapestries were all imagined from the flowers that grew around .. but quillets show fairly new planting styles .. with lots of plants together ..

Re the querns … they were used as early as the Neolithic era (4,500 – 2,100 BC), and are known in the Iron age (1,200 BC to 1 BC) … it is known that corn or a grain was ground in those eras …

@ Susan – Quibble is an easy one isn’t it .. but I’m pleased I’ve highlighted new words … and aren’t the flowers lovely – our Spring flowers are really lovely this year ..

@ Jeffrey – thanks so much .. my rather colloquial phrasing .. but they are grown for us .. we love our flowers ..

@ Lee – well now …
Quern – is kw – ern
Quoit – is k – oit
Quillet – is kw – illet

Hope that helps …

@ Elizabeth .. they were much stronger in those days in so many ways …

Cheers and thanks so much for your interest in my Q posting .. it was a fun one to write .. Hilary

~Sia McKye~ said...

I had heard of the term quern stones and what they were used for but not a quillet. That was interesting. :-) Now that you mention it, I've seen those little quillets of flowers planted very much like those in Zennor. Now I have a name for it.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Nick Wilford said...

I didn't know about that use of quoit, I thought quoits was a quaint little game.

I know about querns. We really take everything for granted getting it all from supermarkets, but back then it was hard graft to get anything to eat.

Sophie Duncan said...

I'm not going to quibble with you on your q's ;) I knew what a quern was, but not a quillet. Those flowers are beautiful.
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
FB3X
Wittegen Press

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. I think producing your posts must be a full-time occupation. I can't wait to retire. I only just about have time to read them and not always to post comments! I wonder what the French call their long strips of the same flower or vegetables?
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

SHANAYA TALES said...

Wow! This was quite the learning experience. I don't think I have heard any of those Q words before, except Quibble and Quirky. Glad to have come across you. Thanks for sharing.
*Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

Joanne said...

I think you win for most original Q words. Julie at Empty Nest Insider tossed out quite a few too. I like Quillet.....

TexWisGirl said...

quillets - a cute word for a most wonderful concept. :)

Silvia Villalobos said...

Many great Q words here, Hilary. Shakespeare, such a master with words, and you write about his quote so well. Can't say I was familiar with the words here, so great read. Love the picture at the bottom. I could imagine myself walking on that road. Visiting that quaint museum.

L.G. Smith said...

Good stuff. And I've seen those same grinding stones here in the American west, used by Anasazi and Pueblo indians thousands of years ago. Guess you can't beat a good rock for grinding. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

I shall not let anyone quibble with me when I say I can understand why the Londoners, in their smoky drab city, would enjoy a beautiful set of flowers.

Indeed, they may have evened have Queued for the best bunch.

Jean Davis said...

I'm pretty sure it's a safe bet that many fingers were smashed in those querns while grinding that corn.

Thanks for stopping by with more words to play with.

Lisa said...

Look at how many Q words you found!! And all of them interesting. I especially liked "Quillets" and Quiddity!Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

Margie said...

wonderful Q post, Hilary.
Once again, I enjoyed thoroughly.

Clarabelle Rant said...

I want to plant a quillet now with all those flowers for human happiness!

You can find me here:
ClarabelleRant

Empty Nest Insider said...

No qualms about it, quiddity and quillets are very unusual Q" words!
The flowers in the quillets are quite lovely. Thanks for the quintessential "Q" post, Hilary!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sia – Quern stones feature in archaeology quite a lot, and are found in museums and also are still in use in some rural communities to this day … Quillet – I remember lots of them when I was a kid … not so many today …

@ Nick – yes lots of the Standing Stones down here are called Quoits. I know we are lucky we can go to the supermarket and buy food …

@ Sophie – thanks .. I’m glad I came up with some different Qs … and the little quillets would be stunning now … full of Spring flowers ..

@ Bazza – good to see you and yes work doesn’t allow much time does it .. I was late off the mark preparing these this year … as to the French – I’ve no idea what they might call their long strips of flower or veg … I’d like to find out …

@ Shantala – great to meet you .. and thanks for the comment and looking forward to seeing you again ..

@ Joanne – thanks very much … there’ve been lots of good uses of words beginning with Q – yes I saw Julie’s .. and hers was a fun read …

@ Theresa – yes it was a fun word to remember for my Q post .. and they do bring lots of happiness …

@ Silvia – Shakespeare knew his words and he really has stood the test of time. Glad you enjoyed the read … and that road is probably the main road in Zennor! Tiny lanes down there ..

@ LG – yes the Querns were used all over the world ... so the Anasazi and Pueblo Indians would have used the same technique … and I agree a good rock for grinding ..

@ Mark – well done .. good use of quibble and queueing for that wonderful bunch of Cornish flowers possibly from the Quillet …

@ Jean – I expect fingers were lost, and were ground to the bone too – it must have been a tough job …

@ Lisa – yes this year’s Q post allowed me some licence … Quillets and Quiddity .. were fun ..

@ Margie – thanks so much ..

@ Clarabelle – if only we would all go out and plant quillets giving ourselves and those around us human happiness …

@ Julie – thanks so much .. it was a fun post to write … and I had no qualms .. but I so enjoyed your Q poem … it happily rolled along ..

Thanks everyone – the Quintessential Quillets offered us much … while the Querns can stay in the past … I’m happy not to have the work! Cheers Hilary

Julie Flanders said...

I learned two new words today. Love the flowers - so beautiful! I'd love to be walking through them.

Sara C. Snider said...

Quaint quillets and quality querns. All good fun. :D

Lynn said...

Quillets - so bright and beautiful - love the colors in that photo.

Debbie D. said...

That was a great vocabulary and history lesson! I was drawn here, after reading your comments on friends' blogs. It's lovely to meet you, Hilary. ☺

Marcy said...

I love learning new words, and I loved seeing the beautiful Quillets. Perhaps I should create one in my own backyard.

Maria said...

It's nice looking at the quillets and the Wayside Folk Museum at the end of the day. Such treats for my tired eyes!

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh! I hadn't known the word quillet before! I like the idea of discovering the history of a place through 100 objects.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - that's great that the Q words were learnt .. I loved writing this post - Quillets and Quidities. The little quillets back in my youth on our visits to Cornwall - always brought back memories for me ..

@ Sara - thanks for your Qs .. quaint quillets and quality querns ... excellent ..

@ Lynn - yes the colour palette of Spring and early summer flowers is always a tapestry to enjoy ...

@ Debbie - thanks for coming by - I really appreciate you've come over from mutual friend's blogs - and I'm being so slow in returning that complement ...

@ Marcy - glad you enjoyed the new words .. it was a fun post to write. I guess that'd be a great idea for your back yard .. beautiful too ...

@ Maria - so glad you're happy looking at the quillets - they'd cheers us all up I think .. and the Museum looks like a good place to visit ...

@ Deniz - that's great if you've learnt a new word ... and yes I was quite pleased to read about the Cornish history through 100 objects - I need to check out some more ...

Thanks so much to you all - sorry I'm so far behind with catching up on comments here ... cheers for now - Hilary

Michelle Wallace said...

A Quern could not be a Quillet – it could not be Quibbled with, nor could it be a Quiddity.
Great vocabulary and you know that I love alliteration!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Michelle - alliteration seems to have been absorbed into my A-Z postings .. Tina used to love it ... it adds some fun to my concoctions for the posts .. cheers Hilary