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Virtual Tour

The Baptistry

 

This is to he found near the back of the nave, on the right. It has had a most interesting history.

It was constructed by Thomas Paps in 1614 as the porch of the Church. From 1614 to 1778 (when the new tower was built) the congregation entered and left by this porch.

Canon Rutherford has drawn attention to the fact that the porch of the Church was an extremely important feature in those days. Much civil business was transacted there. Coroner's Courts were held in it. Public deeds and covenants were signed there and the first part of the marriage service, being a contract, took place in it.

Visitors will notice long, deep cuts in the corner stones. These were probably made by the soldiers as they sharpened their halberds. Was the Officer in charge elsewhere at the time?

This porch was closed up in 1778 and was used by Ezekial Davys Wilson as a family tomb.

In 1952 it was most happily made into a Baptistry and the present font, which was only re-discovered in recent years, was probably originally used as the font in the ancient Abbey at Woodburn.

The lovely Saint Nicholas' window was placed there at that time and we see Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, as Patron Saint of Sailors and benefactor of the poor. (Note the three bags of gold). We also see him in the bottom right hand side of the window as Santa Claus on his reindeer drawn sledge.

 

 
St Nicholas Sketch