A Medieval Font in Norfolk

In my walk blog yesterday I mentioned our visit to Burnham Deepdale church on the Norfolk coast.

Within is an early Norman font, one of the oldest in England. In 1797, this font was broken and taken away to Fincham Rectory for repair. It remained there for some forty years before being returned to the church. The font is made of Barnack stone from Rutland.

What I find interesting is that the carvings show the farming year from the point of view of a medieval labourer. It offers a fascinating glimpse of the past and the way people lived. There are also some wonderful fragments of medieval glass nearby. This is a church well worth a visit.

A medieval font (c) John Bainbridge 2015

A medieval font (c) John Bainbridge 2015

My pictures don’t do the font justice, so if you are in Norfolk please do go and have a look for yourself. Do click on the pictures to bring them up to a larger size.

The carvings depict:

January – drinking from a horn

February – Feet up by the fire

March – Digging

April – Pruning

May – Rogationtide banner

Burnham Deepdale Font (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Burnham Deepdale Font (c) John Bainbridge 2015

June – Weeding

July – Mowing

August – Binding a sheaf

September – Threshing

October – Grinding corn

Medieval Font at Burnham Deepdale (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Medieval Font at Burnham Deepdale (c) John Bainbridge 2015

November – Killing the pig

December – A community feast.

It all reminded me of the poem from the time of the Peasant’s Revolt:

When Adam dalf and Eve span

Who was then the gentleman?

When Adam dalf and Eve span,

Spur if thou wilt speed,

Where was then the pride of man

That now mars his meed?

 

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