Wrought Iron Harnen

Material: Wrought iron
Dimensions: Height: 34 cm / 13 ⅜in, Width: 38cm / 15in
Place of Origin: Probably Ireland
Date: Probably late 18th to mid-19th century
Maker or Retailer: Unknown
Present Location: Private collection


The harnen was used for drying large oatcakes by a downhearth fire. The large, circular oatcakes were made on a griddle of iron or stone, before being cut into quarters and then dried on the harnen before the fire. Harnens are also found in the United States, where they are known as ‘Scotch broilers’.

Harnens were made by local blacksmiths and the design remained unchanged over a long period, which makes them difficult to date accurately. This example is unusual in having the owner’s (or possibly the maker’s) initials displayed.


  • Deeley, R., 2011. The Cauldron, the Spit and the Fire. Golden Cockerel Books. ISBN 9780947870737. pp 168 – 171
  • Feild, R., 1984. Irons in the Fire: a history of cooking equipment. Marlborough, Crowood Press. ISBN 0946284555.  p. 120
  • Neuman, G.C., 2001. Early American Antique Country Furnishings. Gas City, IN. L-W Book Sales. ISBN 0517661837.  p.187

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