We associate Norfolk with large churches in the Perpendicular style. Nevertheless, a number of fine Norman fonts survive, sometimes when the rest of the church has been rebuilt in Gothic. The most unusual subject matter is found at Burnham Deepdale which features the Labours of the Months on three of the four sides. The font at S. Martin’s Fincham (brought from the demolished church of S. Michael in 1744) is, like the example at Burnham, from the early 12th c. Here the subject matter is the three Magi; the Nativity (ox, manger, a shepherd); Baptism (illustrated) and Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge.

Two examples from around 1170 AD feature more decorative motifs. That at Toftrees has knot patterns on all four panels and angle colonettes with a ram’s head motif above, whilst Shernborne (‘barbaric and mighty’ says Pevsner) is absolutely covered in carving. It has four faces in the lower centre of each face and again features angle colonettes.


– George Zarnecki, English Romanesque Sculpture, 1066-1140, Tiranti, 1951; 

Later English Romanesque Sculpture, 1140-1210, Tiranti, 1953; 

– N. Pevsner and B. Wilson, The Buildings of England. Norfolk: Volume 2: North West and South, Yale, 1999.