The Norman Font

The Norman Font dates from about 1170 and is made from a single piece of Frosterley marble from County Durham.

The font is a typical Norman design from about 1170. It must have survived the fire of 1188. This damaged the Norman church to such an extent that the decision was made to rebuild rather than to repair it.

The font is made from Frosterley ‘marble’ (actually polished limestone) and close examination reveals a large number of fossils embedded in the stone. It is probably the earliest surviving example of a font in this material.

As a receptacle for holding water for services of baptism, it has had continuous use until the present day – about 800 years.

In the 18th century restoration of the Minster a wooden cover was designed by Hawksmoor and carved by William Thornton of York.