Tyne and Wear HER(15329): Whickham, Church of St. Mary, font - Details
Whickham, Church of St. Mary, font
Religious Ritual and Funerary
The font dates, according to Hodgson, to the first foundation of the church in the 12th century. Hodgson describes it thus: "interesting, above all other considerations, for its phenominal badness, being without exception, the meanest, most barbarous and misshapen of the many poor and mean examples in the County". The font has been raised on two tiers of octagonal steps. There are 3 distinct marks of fastenings around the horizontal surface of the font. Dimensions: height of bowl 7.75 inches, height of stem 1 foot 10.25 inches, height of base 6.5 inches, height of step 8 inches, diameter of bowl 2 feet 2.5 inches, diameter of stem 1 foot 7 inches, diameter of base 2 feet 5.5 inches, diameter of step 4 feet 1 inch, total height 3 feet 8.5 inches. Peter Ryder 1997 - the Font stands in the base of the tower, and is of Frosterley ‘Marble’; it has a plain circular bowl and a broad circular shaft standing on an octagonal base with a chamfered upper angle. The octagonal step on which it stands looks to be 19th century , but the font itself is probably of later 12th or 13th century date.
Dr J.F. Hodgson, 1912, Font in Whickham Church, Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, Vol VI, pp 245-246; Peter F Ryder, 1997, St Mary the Virgin, Whickham Archaeological Assessment, June 1997