10 fonts fit for a prince
With a royal christening on July 9, we find 10 fantastic East Anglian fonts.
1 Sandringham Church, on the royal estate, has two fonts, one of Florentine marble and the other Greek and more than 1,000 years old. Princess Charlotte was baptised here exactly three years ago, but the church has seen many more royal baptisms including those of Diana, Princess of Wales, King Olav V of Norway and King George VI.
2 East Anglia is famous for its medieval Seven Sacrament fonts. There are fewer than 50 in the country and more than half are in Norfolk and Suffolk. The octagonal stone fonts show the seven sacraments of the church (baptism, confirmation, marriage, holy communion, confession, marriage, holy orders, and last rites) plus one more religious scene. The seven sacrament font at Westhall St Andrew, near Halesworth, has been called the finest in England and still has some of the 15th century coloured paint which decorated the scenes of a baptism, wedding and death-bed.
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3 More spectacular seven sacrament fonts can be seen at Badingham, near Eye; Brooke, near Loddon; Great Glemham, near Saxmundham; Salle, near Reepham; and Walsoken, near Wisbech.
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4 The Norman font at Burnham Deepdale is famous for showing month-by-month farming tasks including digging, mowing, weeding, harvesting, wine-making and a Christmas feast. The font at nearby Burnham Thorpe also has a special place in history as Nelson was baptised here.
5 One of the finest black marble fonts in the country is in the redundant church St Peter's Church, Ipswich, now used by the Ipswich Hospital Band. The Norman font is decorated with lions, prowling around the rim.
6 The church at Trunch, near Cromer, is renowned for its stunning carved hexagonal font canopy, made more than 500 years ago and, with the canopy at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich, one of only four in England.
7 The font at Terrington St Clement, near King's Lynn, has a pinnacled 17th century cover which opens to show beautifully painted bible scenes.
8 Two of Suffolk's best font covers are the soaring medieval marvels at Ufford, near Wickham Market, and at Southwold – the two tallest in England.
9 The Roman Catholic church of St Edmund Bungay has a 19th century Art Nouveau font in multi-coloured marble.
10 A huge burnished copper bowl once used to make toffee in Norwich's chocolate factory is now a beautiful modern font at Norwich Cathedral.