Carved font at Clonard, Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath.

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Where: Leinster, Meath, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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We have a photo from the Tourist Association of a Carved font at Clonard, believed to be from the 13th Century. I see that "the earliest baptismal fonts were designed for full immersion, and were often cross-shaped with steps (usually three, for the Trinity) leading down into them" I wonder when this type of font was widely introduced?

Photographer: Irish Tourism Association Photographer

Collection: Irish Tourism Association Photographic Collection

Date: 1942

NLI Ref: NPA ITA 1537 (Box VIII)

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 4818
irishtourismassociation irishtourism nationallibraryofireland ireland bwfilmnegatives glassnegatives anunpublisheddatabaseisavailableatnpareadingroomcounter carvedfont clonard kinnegad cowestmeath font carved leinster westmeath fontastic

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    • 28/Sep/2022 07:47:15

    Flickr is sometimes amazing. In the 1880s via [] [] Text near illustration - ... but the Christian temples are swept away — being represented only by three stones, the principal of which is a fine baptismal font, three feet high, of very hard gray limestone ; one of the finest and perhaps the oldest in Ireland. The pedestal is highly decorated with figures and foliage. The basin is octagonal, two feet and one inch in diameter externally, and the bowl, very deep, twenty inches across. The sculptures on the panels represent the Flight into Egypt, the Baptism in the Jordan, St. Peter, St. Finian, and figures of Augustinian monks ; which show that it was carved since the coming of De Lacy, on the rebuilding of the monastery in 1175. ... See -

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    • 28/Sep/2022 07:55:13

    Correction: the illustration and words (by William Wilde) date back to 1849. See - A modern photo (looks like it is now in fontastic condition) -

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    • 28/Sep/2022 08:46:42

    great details -might be worth a detour!

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    • 28/Sep/2022 09:25:04

    In September 2022 -

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Sep/2022 10:13:24 It looks like new in the video!

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Sep/2022 12:37:24[email protected]/ Henceforth we shall be adding Fontastic as a tag...

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    • 28/Sep/2022 20:34:49 Fontastic might achieve greatness along with hattoriffic and frillyitus. Any others...?

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    Aidrean S

    • 07/Oct/2022 17:45:58

    The word baptism is rooted in the Greek word baptizein, meaning "to plunge." or "to di in water". The octagonal shape is often considered to be the preferred shape for baptismal fonts. There are several points of symbolism around the number eight that explain why baptismal fonts are octagonal. The 8-sided baptismal font refers to the eighth day in Genesis, the day of eternity. Additionally, Jesus' resurrection occurred on the "eighth" day — the day after the Sabbath, which is the seventh day of the week. It was also written that after the flood in Noah's ark, eight people were saved by water and went on to bring about new life. Baptism symbolizes the beginning of a new life for the person experiencing it.