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Dorchester Abbey, font

Dorchester Abbey, font

Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus

Medium: Ink wash on paper

Date: 1773

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15545

Item number: f.149

Length: 27.6

Width: 19.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

The font which dates from c.1170 is one of the best preserved lead fonts in the country and is one of very few fonts from monastic churches to survive. The decorative carvings on the font are of the Apostles sitting under an arcade with borders of foliage around the font rim and base. Dorchester Abbey is located on an early Christian shrine of St Birinus, dating from 634. The abbey building was originally a cathedral but in 1170 it became an Augustinian abbey. After the monastery was dissolved in 1536 the monastic buildings were almost entirely destroyed. The church was then purchased by Richard Beauforest of Dorchester, who presented it for the use of the parish.

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