Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Baptistery (Greek baptisterion, a large jar or dye-vat), a building in which baptism is performed; in modern times, usually that part of a church in which the font is placed; but in the early Christian Church it was frequently a separate building (at first hexagonal or octagonal, afterwards circular), often 100 feet or more in diameter, containing a large basin or reservoir, in which a number of converts were baptised together by immersion, usually at Christmas, Easter, or Whitsuntide, before the bishop. The oldest known, that of Aquileia, is in ruins; those of Ravenna, of Florence, and of the Lateran at Rome were built between the fourth and sixth centuries. The octagonal baptistery of Florence and the circular one of Pisa are especially celebrated. A baptistery for the immersion of adult candidates for baptism was built at Cranbrook, Kent, by a vicar of the parish early in the eighteenth century, but it is only known to have been used twice.