Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Saddle Stone

Antique Saddle Stone,circa 1800.
These stones can still be found around the village of Cookham today in some ornimental capacity, either in a garden or lining a driveway to a house. Before the the age of the combine harvester they were used to be the foundation for building corn ricks on, one to keep them off the damp Thames Valley ground and secondly to keep the vermin, rats and mice down to a minimum. To this end some farmer built their granaries on saddle stones to keep the grain dry and the vermin down. This is also why a farmer kept at least one Terrier dog on the farm. Prior to the farmers putting them to this use, the mushroom shaped dome tops were used by millers to grind the wheat, oats or barley into flour. When grinding methods improved in the mills, they were put to use by the farmers for more than a century. Today, they are a often sought antique for the garden.

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