The Font

The Font

For a video tour of the font courtesy of Hannah at the Friends of Kent Churches click here

Returning the rear of the church, the most interesting feature is undoubtedly the font. In fact it is one of the most interesting fonts in Kent. It is Norman and made of Caen stone in the second half of the 12th.century. It is 2’ 3” height and its outside diameter at the top is 2’9”.


It is decorated on its sides by eight semi-circular arcades and there has been considerable variants in the identification of the subjects.

The tale is told of the Archbishop in the reign of King Stephen being asked to consecrete the new font. He naturally asked for details and was told that the villagers had an excellent carver of stone who had created scenes both spiritual and pagan. This obviously alarmed the Archbishop although on hearing one scene depicted a baptism he was pleased with that.

He was however less pleased with a scene that depicted a dragon until he was told that it was a scene from the legend of St. Margaret of Antioch who encountered the devil in the form of a dragon.

A third panel depicted an archer which, it was pointed out, was the badge of King Stephen. Other panels depicted a lion, a griffin, a king with a harp (possibly King David?), a figure with long hair and a crown and creature in mythology.

All in all the Archbishop was pleased with the font and promised to consecrate it. It is now a most important piece of Romanesque art.

 

The font and its panels