Font bowl, bays 10, 11, 1

Image of the feature "Fonts: Font" at Acton .

by Ron Baxter.

At the W end of the nave. The sandstone, lead-lined bowl was originally cylindrical or slightly tapered, but has been crudely hacked into a cup shape, thereby removing the lower part of its figural and foliage ornament. It now stands on a heavy torus moulding, and that on a cylindrical shaft, hollow chamfered at the top and with a broad chamfered base. The mutilated 12thc. bowl was dug up in the gardens of Dorfold Hall in the 19thc. and set on a new base. The bowl has a broad, flat fillet forming the upper rim, and below this is divided into 11 bays of round-headed arcading with flat pseudo-columns supporting conical capitals, all in low relief. In the spandrels of the arches are lilies, and under each arch a figure or a foliage motif. The damage to the bowl has erased the lower half of the design. The arch motifs are here numbered anticlockwise (L to R), starting with the E arch:

1. Large lily.

2. Bull with long upright horns walking R, facing front.

3. Frontal standing man.

4. Equal-armed Maltese cross.

5. Frontal standing figure, his right hand raised, palm out.

6. Lily tip of foliage motif.

7. Frontal standing figure, his right hand raised.

8. Large lily.

9. Bust of draped figure facing forward.

10. Foliage design. What survives is a diagonal stem terminating in a lily, with a lily side stem, and broad leaves visible at lower L.

11. Frontal standing man.

The figure style is crude, eye sockets and cheeks are cut back in low relief to allow the eyes to be shown as bulbous, eyebrows as curved ridges and noses as straight fillets. Mouths are thin grooves.


ext diameter of bowl at top 0.80 m
h of bowl 0.45 m
int. diameter of bowl at top 0.56 m
overall h of font 1.05 m