Everingham Park, Yorkshire, East Riding

Feature Sets (2)


This font is thought to have come from the medieval church of Everingham (see report for Everingham church), though there is only circumstantial evidence to suggest this (see VII History, below). From about 1870 the font was kept in the vestibule of the Roman Catholic church of SS Mary and Everilda in Everingham Park, the contents of which (including the font) being most recently owned by Lady Herries. In 2003 the font was auctioned at Sotheby's and purchased by London dealer Richard Philp. It was subsequently exhibited and sold later in the same year at the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers' Show, New York. Its present location is unknown.


Apart from the local nature of the stone, there are historical clues to the font originating at Everingham. The font may have been removed from the church during its rebuilding in the 1760s and never returned. A brass memorial tablet was returned by the Duke of Norfolk in 1963, see Stapleton 1965.




Cylindrical, in a fine-grained sandy stone, light cool grey-yellow in colour (probably the locally available coprolitic Jurassic limestone). The font is plain on the upper rim of the bowl, but has a double-cable pattern running around the top of the cylinder. Below the double-cable pattern and dividing it from the figurative zone below is a 'channel', a form described in Cramp 1984, p. xxiii, fig. 8d and p. xxiv Fig. 9d. The figurative carving, of animals, trees and one man, extends around only some 50-60 per cent of the cylinder. The first few motifs are related to two bays and two columns of an approximate arcade, but the second half of the carving is free of this. There are three sections to the interpretation of the carving:

1. An archer, a tree and a monster.

2. A bird and a snake in a tree.

3. Many animals, a tree and a man on horseback.

Due to its original making being fairly rough, and to later wear, the measurements given below are approximate.

d. of bowl 0.3 m
h. of cylinder (approx.) 0.75 m
max. diam. of bowl 0.63 m
max. diam. of cylinder 0.92 m


The font is similar in fabric and diameter to the font at nearby Seaton Ross which is, however, plain, of rougher tooling and only 0.67 m high. Patterns running around the top of the cylinder in the Wolds are often cable. The rim pattern chosen is a pre-Conquest form familiar to the workman, cut with a regularity and assurance to be contrasted with what Pevsner calls the 'unorganised' remainder of the sculpture. The various forms of cable in this region help with relative dating of the fonts: later cables are more rope-like and rounded. From comparison with sculptural handling at Kirkburn (c.1140), the author suggests a date for the Everingham font of the early 1130s. This scheme is based on a text of Hugh of St Victor, which was written by about 1131. The design may be by an Augustinian canon (a nearby priory at Warter was founded in 1132). The most recently founded priory and the nearest to Everingham was Warter, founded 1132.


  • R. Cramp, A Grammar of Anglo-Saxon Ornament. Oxford, 1984.
  • J. T. Fowler, 'On a Twelfth Century Font at Everingham, in South Yorkshire' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 20, (1909), pp. 487-9.
  • N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd. ed. London, 1995, pp. 411-413.
  • H. E. C. Stapleton, A History of St Everilda's church and the village of Everingham. York, 1965.


Site Location
Everingham Park
National Grid Reference
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Yorkshire, East Riding
medieval: York
now: York
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Rita Wood