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The oldest object in the church of St Nicholas in Brighton is this  Norman font, made from Caen stone, dating back to the twelfth century.  Its origins are uncertain but the quality of the workmanship  makes it possible that it was carved by skilled craftsmen who worked extensively at the Cluniac Lewes Priory. (The Priory had also the right to appoint the rector of the church). The panels can be identified as the Last Supper, The Baptism of our Lord and a scenes from the life of St Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of fisherman and of the church. 


The Beauties and Antiquities of the County of Sussex was published by the artist James Rouse, a first folio edition in 1825, and a second octavo edition in 1827. The publication contained 149 views of historic buildings in the county. According to the artist the second edition, from which this plate comes, was published so that those living in the County who could not afford the expensive folio edition might benefit from this edition. In his preface he says that he chose the medium of lithography rather than aquatint because of its 'generally acknowledged superiority in pourtraying [sic] Architectural Subjects, particularly where operated upon by the mouldering effects of time.'

South side of the font of St Nicholas Church, Brighton, James Rouse - Print

  • Image Numbers: 1201
    Title: South view of the norman font of St Nicholas church, Brighton


    Artist: James Rouse

    Publisher:  James Rouse, The Beauties and Antiquities of the County of Sussex 

    Medium: Lithograph

    Framed size (h x w): 266 x 200mm

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