More fonts: Southampton and St Mary Bourne

   Two very different locations: a busy city centre and a quiet village not far from the town of Andover. Let's head to Southampton first.

St Michael's Southampton

The Font

  The roundels on the font contain images of lions, some winged, some not. They are fierce looking, but perhaps not very lion-like - lions didn't get as far north as Belgium.
   The west side is the interesting one. Apologies for the poor photograph - the old print might offer a better view.

  These images show three of the evangelists; the winged human figure of St Matthew, the winged lion of St Mark, and the eagle of St John. So what happened to St Luke's winged ox? None of the other creatures look particularly ox-like; having said that, they're not that lion or eagle-like either. Look likes a snub for poor old Luke.
St Mary Bourne
Something of a mystery here; the village is called St Mary Bourne, but the church is dedicated to St Peter.  The guide book offers a number of possible explanations, but no-one knows for sure.

At first glance the iconography appears entirely decorative: the south and east faces show grape vines, while north and west have a series of arches similar to those at All Saints East Meon.





 The vines are a symbol of Christ: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15 v 1 - 2) The fleur-de-lys  are a symbol of the Virgin Mary, the name of the village. Maybe the doves on the west side drinking water are connected with the village too - a bourne' is a stream.

On to Winchester Cathedral

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