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  • Writer's picturemysteriesofmercia

The Font That Forgives Sins

Now here's someone who looks like he's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. This amazing font has stood inside the Church of St Michael at Castle Frome since 1170 at the latest, carved in the Romanesque style by sculptors from the Herefordshire School of masons.

If you've seen the "warriors font" at Eardisley then you'll see a lot of similarities here, intricate knots and braids surrounding rather mystical depictions of biblical scenes. These masons had seen the grand cathedrals of Portugal, Spain and southern France - to use modern terms for the areas - and they combined these influences with the old Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Celtic art that they still saw around them.

The font here depicts the four evangelists - in their animal alternative forms - surrounding the baptism of Christ. The poor fellow holding the whole thing up? He represents mankind chained and weighed down by the burden of sin, waiting to be released by Christ's life and death.

It's incredible to think that children were baptised in this font 900 years ago, but the event depicted on it happened - allegedly - 1200 years before that!

I explore Herefordshire and the surrounding counties in my books, all available at

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