Quern stones were used for grinding corn
An archaeological treasure has been unearthed on a golf course in Bedfordshire.
A quern stone was found by greenkeepers at Leighton Buzzard golf course as they dug out a new tee.
Club Captain Neil Bagshawe told BBC Three Counties Radio how they found it.
"The guys were digging the fourth tee to renew it and about a metre down they found this flat round object around 14 inches in diameter which turned out to be a quern stone" he said.
Quern stones were used for grinding corn before the introduction of mill stones, but despite this, it's not actually that common to find one.
"Apparently only three have ever been discovered in the south of England so it is quite rare" said Mr Bagshawe, "and even rarer to find one that is completely intact.
"It's in very good condition" he added.
"You can still see the marks that are necessary to actually effect the grinding mechanism to make sure that you do get the corn out at the end, so it's obviously been made by man as opposed to being a natural object."
Mr Bagshawe is an amateur archaeologist, but said that while he is very interested in the subject, he took advice from local expert Bernard Jones to assess what had actually been found.
He also explained how the stone could date back over 2,000 years from what was already known about the golf course land.
"There's evidence going way back that there were Iron Age settlements on that land" he said, "basically small holdings after herder gatherers gave way to settlements. So it's been inhabited from the late Iron Age which was the last century BC."
Despite its rarity, the stone has no intrinsic value but Mr Bagshawe revealed that it will be displayed in the club house.
"It's part of our heritage so we're very proud of it." he said.