of infants have been baptised here, bringing them into membership of the
family of the Church. As noted already, the font is carved from black
Tournai marble. The other similar fonts in Hampshire are in Winchester
Cathedral, East Meon and St Michael's, Southampton. It was probably brought
over here in its finished state, possibly by the Norman Bishop of Winchester,
Henri de Blois.
The base is modern, made in 1927 of the same marble - not without some
hitches! The earliest base would have had four separate pillars around
the central one. These may have been destroyed by puritans - one corner
also bears the marks of rough usage. The earlier sandstone base is now
outside the church, on the north side of the tower.
The carving is less intricate than the other local examples and has no
figures. Two sides, east and south, have vines with bunches of grapes:
this symbolises Christ, "I am the true vine" (John 15:1). On
the other sides, are arcading of Norman arches, with four doves drinking
out of two cups on the west side. This possibly symbolises the souls of
the faithful receiving the Holy Sacrament On the north side are Fleur-de-lys
- a symbol of purity. The top has drinking doves at die corners.
for a more detailed description of the Font
Tiles by the Font
These were the original flooring of the south aisle and date from the
14th century. They are known as encaustic from the method of manufacture
which involved having different coloured clays burnt in