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St Mary Magdalene, Eardisley (Herefordshire)

 

OTHER CHURCHES OF THE HEREFORDSHIRE ROMANESQUE SCHOOL

 

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In contrast to many of the Herefordshire churches, St Mary Magdalene is in the "main drag" of the well heeled looking market village of Eardisley.  The church is a mixture of 11,12 and 13 hundreds' building with a 1708 stone tower.  Its outstanding treasure is its 1100s font which is in the most extraordinary condition.  Which is why we have done several close up photos of the faces and patina.   

 

 

 

 

The font is in the south west corner of the church (the wall in the photo is the west one). The story told by the font's bas-reliefs starts with a large lion on the west side of the font.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The church's guide book explains:

 

"The carvings around the font tell the story about the saving of a sinner from the power of evil.  Evil is represented by the lion which is pursuing a small figure being rescued by the larger figure of Christ, assisted by the Holy Spirit, shown as a dove sitting on his shoulder.

 

Another figure representing God the Father stands in the central position and to his right are two early 12th Century men fighting each other ........ contd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

....... There is good reason to believe that these figures are Ralph de Baskerville, Lord of the manor of Eardisley and his father-in-law Lord Drogo of Clifford, and that they recall the occasion on which Ralph killed Lord Drogo in a family dispute over land ownership.  This was the turning point in Ralph's life, after which he became a changed person, ending his days as a monk in Gloucester."

 

A point of casual interest is the fact that the knights and the sinner are wearing trousers (unusual in those days) whereas Christ and God have wrap-arounds.

 

 

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