We have recently completed a project to conserve the font in St Mary’s church which has been a focus for baptisms within the local community over many centuries. The project has sought to ensure that the font can continue in use for future generations.
The font itself is octagonal, made of Purbeck marble and dates from the 13<sup>th</sup> Century. Intriguingly the font predates the church by more than a century and may have either been moved from the previous St Mary’s when it was built in about 1350 or from St Margaret’s church, which is pre-Norman, when it was dismantled in 1702.
The font appears to have been restored in about 1865 when the church was remodelled and this seems to have contributed to its deterioration, in particular the use of cement render and encaustic tiles to the base. Over the years there has been significant cracking to the font and damp problems where the Purbeck marble met the cement render.
Conservation work has been undertaken by Skillington Workshop Limited and has involved the insertion of 13 staples, cement render replaced by lime render and the insertion of limestone slips around the base of the font. The cracks have been cleaned and filled, a new drain installed and the font cleaned.
We are pleased to report that this work has been made possible by generous support from:
The Judith Bartram (Antingham) Trust
The Churches Conservation Trust
Places of Worship Grant Scheme