ESSEX-UK-L Archives

Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2005-12 > 1133427934

From: Anne Peat <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Padlocked font covers - to keep witches out
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 09:05:34 +0000
References: <002f01c5f612$ee1190e0$0202a8c0@Vaio>
In-Reply-To: <002f01c5f612$ee1190e0$0202a8c0@Vaio>

In previous ages the blessed water was left in the font for a whole
year ( it was often blessed at Easter - and if someone had been to the
Holy Land and brought back some Jordan water it was especially holy.
Goodness only knows what it was like by the end of the year - no wonder
so many little babies didn't survive!). Therefore it had to be defended
against misuse especially in black magic.
You will see that some fonts have enormously heavy covers - so heavy
that it needed a pulley system to lift it. This was another means of
ensuring the water wasn't stolen and misused.
For the same reason the pipe from the plug of the font goes straight
down into the earth.
On 1 Dec 2005, at 01:02, Colleen wrote:

> I've just seen the following in Arthur Mee's description of Leaden
> Roding:
> '...the church has stood here since Norman times by a farmstead nearer
> the river Roding. It has a doorway the Normans made in the nave and a
> chancel leading out of it with no intervening arch, built in the 13th
> century. The 14th century font has the staples into which the cover
> was padlocked so that witches would not steal the water for their
> magic rites.'
> I've seen fonts which appear to have these 'staples' but didn't
> realise that this was the reason for them and why fonts were locked.
> Colleen

This thread: