Font in Brighton church
Artist: Hassell, J
Font of St Nicholas', the parish church of Brighton, which was situated on a hill outside the old town. Daniel Defoe visited in the early 18th century, noting "Bright Helmston, commonly call'd Bredhemston, a poor fishing town, old built, and on the very edge of the sea". He wondered whether saving the town was worth the cost involved.
The parish church was built of flint in the 14th century and has a low embattled tower. It was drastically restored in 1853 and the font was given a new hexagonal cover, reminiscent of an Eleanor Cross monument. The artist is John Hassell (1767-1825), a drawing master and also a prolific author: the texts of his publications on watercolour painting and guidebooks were accompanied by his own illustrations.