This view of the interior of St. Leonard's church was taken by local Tooting photographer and postcard publisher R C Johns who was based in Longley Road, Tooting. It features the ancient font which stands by the entrance to the church. Over the centuries many thousands of baptisms have taken place here and the parish registers reveal that between 1538 and 1900 over 14,000 people were baptised here.
The carved stone bowl dates from the 15th century and is octagonal in shape with parallel sides decorated with a quarterfoil enclosing a conventional rose which was a common design in the 1400s. In 1894, to commemorate 50 years of service to the parish by the then Rector, the Rev. Canon John R Nicholl, proposals were made for a new font and it is likely it was at this time that a new pedestal was made for the font incorporating eight red marble pillars with stone bases and capitals on which the bowl rested.
The font was then raised from the floor to sit at one end of a large stone step which forms the base of the font today.
The photograph also shows the wooden octagonal cone-shaped font cover which probably also dated from this refurbishment.
(John Brown and photo courtesy Frances )