A container for holy water used in baptism. In most medieval
churches, it is a large, octagonal stone bowl on a stem
and base, carved with designs, and sited at the west end
of the nave. Many fonts have
been moved from their original position over the years,
which was often against a pillar in the north aisle.
Most are of white stone, usually from Barnack in Cambridgeshire; but there are also fonts of grey Purbeck marble, and rare fonts of black Tournai marble. These, as with other early medieval fonts, are square rather than octagonal. Carvings on medieval East Anglian fonts are typically lions around the stem, often interspersed with wild men; angels under the bowl, and evangelistic symbols, alternating with other designs, on the eight panels of the bowl. Fonts of this type are found in about 300 churches.
The most famous East Anglian fonts are those of the seven sacraments series. These show, in relief, the sacraments of the Catholic Church, with another design on the eighth panel.