The Tournai Font St Mary Bourne, with it’s wonderful depth of blackness, is one of the four Tournai fonts in Hampshire
The Tournai font St Mary Bourne in the church of St Peter’s glows with an ancient patina that tells of the many years of service and history this old Norman font has given. The square font no longer has it’s original base or central pillar (see the Tournai font in Southampton and compare the bases) but all four sides of the bowl are carved with symbolism. Norman arches abound, with doves drinking the water of eternal life, whilst other sides have fleur de lys representing the Virgin Mary and vines full of fruit.
How the font came to find a home in St Mary Bourne is not known, it was quite possibly a gift from Bishop Henry de Blois in the C12th but that is not proven. It is a striking font and marked by the history of hundreds of years of tumult.
For a deeper and longer description of the font, visit the St Mary Bourne church site.
To read about other Hampshire fonts, some of the oldest artefacts in our churches and awash with symbolism and resonant with the history of the communities they have served, see our post on Hampshire Baptismal fonts. There are four Tournai fonts in Hampshire.