Font (description)

The spectacular font was a gift from Canon John Warner to mark his promotion to Bishop of Rochester in 1639.  Just three years later it was smashed by Puritan soldiers.  The writer and cathedral Proctor (lawyer) William Somner collected the pieces and hid them until the Restoration.  The refurbished font, with replacement statues, was re-erected in 1663 and appropriately first used for the baptism of Somner’s daughter Barbara.  After a spell in the water tower (1787-1896) the font returned to its present location in the north aisle of the nave.  

What to see:

  • the black and white marble plinth
  • statues around the base of the four evangelists with their traditional symbols (Matthew with an angel, Mark with a lion, Like with a bull, and John with an eagle)
  • the shallow, octagonal, fluted bowl
  • the two-storey cover with its pulley system and small statues of the 12 apostles
  • the dove of peace on the underside of the font cover
  • the arms of Charles II above

Sources:  see standard cathedral sources