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Colchester Historeum

Flail, Threshing

Accession number: 2012.152.02
Materials: Wood; Leather
Measurements: 103.5 cm L x 6.5 cm W x 4 cm Thick
Narrative: Used to harvest wheat.
Description: An ash rod handle that is connected via leather straping to a rod which is used as a flail.
History of Use: This threshing flail would have been used to pound grains, loosening them from their chaff, or outer casing. The user would hold the longer part of the stick, swinging the shorter end. This process often took place on the threshing or winnowing floor of a barn. The grains would be winnowed, or separate from their chaff following threshing. Ash wood was used for the flail as the wood is generally free of knots and flexible.