SP8104 : Monks Risborough - St Dunstans - Font detail

taken 5 years ago, near to Monks Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Great Britain

Monks Risborough - St Dunstans - Font detail
Monks Risborough - St Dunstans - Font detail
A close-up view of the geometrical and leaf design of the carving below the rim of the C12th "Aylesbury" font in St Dunstan's, Monks Risborough.
See also SP8104 : Monks Risborough - St Dunstan's - Norman font in situ, SP8104 : Monks Risborough - St Dunstan's - "Aylesbury" font and the shared descriptions below.
"Aylesbury" Fonts
There are thought to be 22 (or 23) so-called "Aylesbury" fonts to be found in the three adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire (17 fonts + 1 base), Bedfordshire (3) and Northamptonshire (2).
There is a separate shared description about the churches that house these fonts here Link

Note: The number of these fonts is reckoned as either 22 or 23 as the example at Wing retains only its base.

The fonts get their name from the example at St Mary's church in Aylesbury - the name probably being selected for three reasons - that Aylesbury is by far the biggest and most well-known town; that the example there is a particularly good one; and finally that Aylesbury is reasonably central to the area where they are found.
They date from around the end of the C12th making them about 800 years old - though a few have been re-cut at a later date, and the example at Wing retains only its base. Also the Dinton font is thought to be of a somewhat later date.
The finest four examples are considered to be the ones at Aylesbury, Great Kimble, Houghton Regis and Weston Turville.
It is thought that the craftsmen responsible for their carving probably worked - or were trained - at St Albans Abbey, as carvings at that cathedral, notably on a late C12th doorway, resemble some of the carvings found on the fonts.
The general shape of the fonts is a circular-rimmed chalice-like bowl joined to its base by a band, often carved as a rope. The bases fall mainly into two categories, either simple and circular, or square with each face having one or two semicircular carved panels {curves upwards} known as "lunettes" or "cushions". This square base with either one or two "lunettes" is the main style to be found among the fonts, and other bases may therefore not be original. For example, the base of the Old Linslade font is octagonal and is I think of a considerably later date.
Most bowls have a frieze running below their rims - these vary dramatically in complexity from simple geometric designs to depictions of flowers and animals.
In many cases, the fonts are older than the churches which house them, as many churches were substantially rebuilt in the C13th - C15th and others such as Saunderton have had disasters befall them at a later date. One notable exception is the gem of a church at Little Missenden, the core of which dates from Saxon times.
The stone from which the fonts were made was quarried at Totternhoe and is an unusually hard variety of chalk, itself a form of limestone. This white stone was much employed in the area, in particular as the white squares alternating with dark flint squares in the chequerboard designs seen on many local churches.
The two Northamptonshire fonts (Duston and Eydon) though considered "Aylesbury" fonts may just be coincidentally similar, as they are actually both quite different to the main style and are geographically quite separate.
An Alphabetical list of the 22 fonts (and one base) with some notes follows: (All are in Bucks unless otherwise stated)
Aylesbury - St Mary's - Fine example after which others are named. Square base with double semicircles.
Barton-le-Clay, Beds - St Nicholas - Recut in C15th. Only rope moulding original.
Bledlow - Holy Trinity - Probably a local copy of Great Kimble font. Square base with double semicircles.
Buckland - All Saints - Cracked but original. Circular base.
Chearsley - St Nicholas - Octagonal shaft (?original). Circular base.
Chenies - St Michael - Re-cut (c.C15th). Square base. Single unadorned semicircles. Rope tracery.
Dinton - SS Peter & Paul - Later example. Circular base.
Duston, Nhants - St Luke - Quite plain compared with others. Geographical outlier.
Eydon, Nhants - St Nicholas - Unusual octagonal base - different style. Geographical outlier.
Flitwick, Beds - SS Peter & Paul - Somewhat cracked. Quite plain.
Great Hampden - St Mary Magdalen - Fairly plain. Circular base. Church on bridleway not road.
Great Kimble - St Nicholas - Fine example. Some paint fragments (?age). Square base with double semicircles.
Great Missenden - SS Peter & Paul - Octagonal rather than circular rim to "cup". Square base with single semicircles.
Haddenham - St Mary the Virgin - Unusual dragon ornamentation. Base replaced.
Houghton Regis, Beds - All Saints - Fine example. Celtic-style ornamentation. Square base with single plain semicircles.
Little Missenden - St John the Baptist - Good example in beautiful old church. Square base with single semicircles with fleur-de-lys decoration.
Ludgershall - St Mary the Virgin - Rather squat version. Quite worn. Geographically somewhat distant.
Monks Risborough - St Dunstans - Good example in bright airy church with other interest. Circular base.
Old Linslade, Beds* - St Mary's - Unusual animal carvings below rim. Somewhat cracked.
Pitstone - St Mary the Virgin - Apparently Re-cut (C15th?). Circular base (on square plinth). Redundant church in care of CCF.
Saunderton - SS Mary & Nicholas - Church C19th after C12th church destroyed by fire. Font somewhat damaged. Circular base.
Weston Turville - St Mary the Virgin - Fine example. Square base with single semicircles with acanthus style decoration.
Wing - All Saints - Only base remains. Church dating back to Saxon period with famous Saxon crypt.
*(Old Linslade used to be in Bucks)
Churches housing "Aylesbury" Fonts
Note there is a separate Shared Description for the fonts themselves Link
This is a photo-linking snippet about the churches that house them.
Note: The number of these fonts is reckoned as either 22 or 23 as the example at Wing retains only its base.

The following 23 churches contain "Aylesbury" fonts - though the final one (at Wing) retains only its base.

Aylesbury, Bucks - St Mary's - C13th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Barton-le-Clay, Beds - St Nicholas - C12th-15th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Bledlow, Bucks - Holy Trinity - C12th-13th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link
Information and photos of the church (local parish website) LinkExternal link

Buckland, Bucks - All Saints - C13th-16th - EH Grade II* LinkExternal link Church websites LinkExternal link and LinkExternal link

Chearsley, Bucks - St Nicholas - C12th-13th - EH Grade II* LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Chenies, Bucks - St Michael - C15th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link Attached to the church is the Bedford Chapel LinkExternal link the family mausoleum of the Russell family, Dukes of Bedford. It is not normally open to the public.

Dinton, Bucks - SS Peter & Paul - C12th-15th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Duston, Nhants - St Luke - C12th-14th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Eydon, Nhants - St Nicholas - C13th-14th - EH Grade II* LinkExternal link (with 14 other listed monuments etc in is churchyard) Church website LinkExternal link

Flitwick, Beds - SS Peter & Paul - C12th,14th & 16th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Great Hampden, Bucks - St Mary Magdalen - C13th-15th - EH Grade II* LinkExternal link Church on bridleway not road. Church website LinkExternal link
Adjacent to magnificent Hampden House ( Grade I LinkExternal link )

Great Kimble, Bucks - St Nicholas - C13th-14th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Victoria Histories entry LinkExternal link Church website (minimal) LinkExternal link

Great Missenden, Bucks - SS Peter & Paul - C14th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Haddenham, Bucks - St Mary the Virgin - C12th-13th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Houghton Regis, Beds - All Saints - C14th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Little Missenden - St John the Baptist - C10th-14th (Saxon core) - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Ludgershall - St Mary the Virgin - C14-15th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Monks Risborough - St Dunstans - C14th-15th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Old Linslade, Beds* - St Mary's - C12th,14th&15th (Norman core) - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Pitstone - St Mary the Virgin - C13th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Redundant church in care of CCT LinkExternal link

Saunderton - SS Mary & Nicholas - C19th after C12th-14th church destroyed by fire. - EH Grade II* LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Weston Turville - St Mary the Virgin - C13th-15th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church website LinkExternal link

Wing - All Saints - (Only base remains) - C10th - EH Grade I LinkExternal link Church dating back to Saxon period with famous Saxon crypt. Church website LinkExternal link

*(Old Linslade used to be in Bucks)
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SP8104, 44 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 31 May, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 10 June, 2014
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Monks Risborough 
Primary Subject of Photo
Font 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 8125 0441 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:43.9515N 0:49.4931W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 8126 0441
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Other Tags
Carving  Medieval Stone Carving 

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