The Font

This is the most ancient object in the church and must date from the early twelfth century. By the middle of the nineteenth century, however, it had been removed from the church and buried in the Rectory garden. It was, no doubt, discarded when, at some time in the eighteenth century, a ‘marble basin’ was substituted to accord with contemporary standards of taste.

A Victorian ‘Gothic’ font was installed in 1871. This in its turn was displaced when the Norman font was restored to its original use in 1924. At this time the wall and doorway behind the font were introduced to define the baptistery area.

The base upon which the font rests is certainly ancient but may not originally have served its present purpose. The carvings with which it is adorned have been variously interpreted but their true significance remains obscure. Why or when the upper part of the font itself was damaged is not now known. There may have been a holy water stoup here (cf. the Youlgreave font now at Elton) or perhaps a crucifix has succumbed to the violence of sixteenth or seventeenth century iconoclasts.

Immediately above the font may be seen a wooden carving of a king’s head. This is the only surviving roof boss from the medieval church.