Priest 1

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

by James Cameron.

The font was probably turned out from the church when the medieval church was demolished and its red-brick replacement was built in 1766. For some time it was used as a water butt at the school and subsequently as a storage container in the bier house in the early 19thc. In 1850 it was brought back into the church, along with the base from the vicarage garden, and a plain cylindrical stem between the two pieces. A new stem was made by Paley and Austin with the same cable moulding motif as the base when it was installed on a platform at the W end of the new church in 1870.

The font is decorated with an arcade of 11 round-headed arches with figures within. Now facing E are Adam and Eve, with the serpent coiled on the column between them turning it into the Tree of Knowledge. Much of the architectural detail of the arcade is worn, but the columns have multi-stepped bases and capitals which may have volutes. The spandrels of the arcade are filled with looped foliate ornament. Round the base of the bowl is a cable moulding which cleverly has serpent heads at some places, weaving the decoration in with the icongraphic programme.

The base is a larger version of this cable moulding. It may have not originally had a stem and instead the font may have just rested straigh upon it, giving it the appearance of a tub font.

Following Larkin's numbering, the figures are numbered from right to left, beginning with Adam and Eve.


Depth of bowl (approx.) 30 cm
Diameter of bowl 64 cm
Height of base 23 cm
Height of bowl 60 cm