Kate Hadley, Curator of The Godmanchester Museum was presented with the stone by Quinton Carroll, Cambridge County Council’s archaeology boss and head of the Historic Environment Team. The millstone with its phallic image is part of a Roman magic system that regulated everyday life in ancient times.

Within that social map of magical regulation, this phallogenic stone promises protection from the evil eye or ill-wishing gods and also promotes bravery, wellbeing, fertility and protection to the grain and bread trade, both of which underpin the legal and trading functions of Roman society. Soldiers were paid in bread. Grain formed part of the Empire-wide Annona tax, but particularly powerful in Roman Britain.

Like many millstones, this has been imported from Derbyshire and a skilled artist stonemason has been employed to carve the phallus, so it is an expensive stone, a grand tool. It was found during the A14 excavations, in a high-end Godmanchester Roman villa, and one would assume belongs to a powerful owner.

The Godmanchester area in Roman times would have seen huge traffic from London to the north and also from the East Coast through Godmanchester to the north. The town formed a crossroad with heavy traffic. There would be soldiers, diplomats, a mule trains carrying goods through Godmanchester and camping here. With a large mansio, bathhouse, temples, market place and barracks, plus bread shops in the centre (the museum has Roman bread stamps) the requirement for bread would have been enormous. Grain was stored in large granaries (Pipers Lane and etc). It was shipped along the river, according to archaeologists, to feed the Roman armies in the north of England and in