This is St. Mary's original Norman baptismal font that consists of a
late 12th century bowl of Purbeck Marble supported on a modern base. A
churches baptismal font gives a more appropriate indication of a churches
age than any other feature. This is due to the fact that the font was an
important symbol of pastoral authority and therefore protected and preserved.
This ancient Norman font was preserved when the church was first rebuilt
during the middle ages. However, for some reason, the font was replaced
in the late 19th century during major restoration, possibly because it
was lost or thought to be destroyed. In 1927, the original bowl of St.
Mary's baptismal font was discovered in the stonemason's yard, unfortunately
without its base. A new base was reconstructed and the baptismal fort is
now restored to its former place of prominence in the rear of the Nave.
It is believed that this is the actual baptismal font that Cornet Joseph Parsons and all of his siblings were baptized over.