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church is made of the same material. There is little doubt that the Nicholaston font dates from the twelfth century, although this church is not mentioned in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica, of Pope Nicholas IV. However, it has been pointed out by the author of the History of West Gower that this must not be taken as conclusive evidence that the church did not exist at that date ; for Penrice is not mentioned in that survey, and yet there is documentary evidence to prove that this latter church was in existence previous to that date.
It has been conjectured that the font at Penrice is an early one remodelled, probably in the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century. This is one of the four octagonal fonts in Gower. A large piece has been broken off one side, and on one of the panels is cut the name of David Hughes, with the date 1703.
The square-shaped font at Llanmadoc church shows that it belongs to the type which is called Norman, and it is very similar to the one in Llangenydd church. There is every reason to believe that St. Madoc founded a church here in the sixth century. This building was doubtless destroyed by the Danes in the ninth century, and was again rebuilt at a later date. The present font may possibly date from the time of the restored church.
1 See History of West Gower, vol. iv, p. 394.
Mention has already been made of octagonal fonts at Cheriton and Penrice. The fonts at Ilston and Penmaen are also similarly constructed. Many fonts in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were made in this shape, for the figure eight was considered a mystical number. The idea of an eight-sided font was probably taken from the eighth or Day of Circumcision (among the Jews), hence the Christian font of that shape.
The fonts in Gower are very plain, but the one at Pennard is somewhat richer, being adorned with an arcade. The font in All Saints' church, Oystermouth, is a square bowl scalloped at the base, and standing on a cylindrical shaft. The fine Norman font at Porteynon, however, rests on a stem of clustered columns set upon a square plinth. Perhaps the most remarkable of the Gower fonts is to be seen at Llandewi; and from the accompanying Table it will be seen that the deep bowl of 34 ins. has no pillar or stem, but merely rests on a large square plinth. This bowl is 13 ins. deep, and has a circumference at the top of 92 ins., and 61 ins. at the bottom.
In the words of the late Professor Freeman, we may say that “the fonts in Gower, though plain, are worth notice; they are nearly all Romanesque, the exceptions being one or two plain octagonal ones of a later date, but of a considerable variety of forms, some tub-shaped, some square, while others assume more of the form of a capital.
At Pennard is a fragment of a much richer one, decorated with an arcade."
The photographs illustrating this paper have been specially taken by Mr. Percy Hume.
OLD PETERBOROUGH CUSTOMS AND THEIR
BY CHAS. DACK, ESQ.
(Read April 19th, 1899.)
ETERBOROUGH, the City of the Fens,
has, I think, more curious old customs surviving than any other city in England.
The Fens naturally lent themselves to superstition and various habits to while away the time, especially the long,
dreary winter. Peterborough, within the memory of many residents, possessed only about six thousand inhabitants, and although the railways and brick industries have increased the population more than sixfold, many old customs remain, several having been only discontinued of late years; of these I propose to enumerate all that I and some friends can remember, as well as those still existing.
The annual customs I propose to take first, and then the general ones, which are rather of daily occurrence.
At the cathedral, the curfew bell is still rung every night for five minutes, beginning in the winter months at ten minutes to eight, and in May, June, July and August at ten minutes to nine. This custom was only discontinued for a short time during the Commonwealth. A sermon bell is rung on Sundays from five to ten minutes before ten. On January 6th (Twelfth-night), iced-cakes were raffled for at the various confectioners and bakers in the town until recently.
The first Monday after the Epiphany is PloughMonday, and on this day gangs of plough-boys still come into Peterborough, and call on the different tradesmen with whom their masters deal, to ask for presents. These gangs of six or more were headed by a man. One