COSTESSEY, or, COSSEY, a large, pleasant and well built village, stretching 2 miles in length, situated in the vale of the Wensum, 4 miles N.W. by W. of Norwich, comprises in its parish, 240 houses, 1,025 souls, and 2,648 acres of land, exclusive of a common of 270 acres. The land is chiefly the property of Lord Stafford, who is also lord of the manor, which extends into several other parishes. COSTESSEY HALL, the occasional residence of Lord Stafford, is beautifully situated in a delightful and well wooded park of 900 acres, watered by a stream, and bounded on the north by the meanderings of the river Wensum. The park contains some of the finest forest trees in the county, and is pleasingly diversified with sylvan beauty. The mansion is an extensive pile, forming three sides of a quadrangle, and the projecting wings terminate in gables, crowned with pinnacles. It was erected in the time of Elizabeth, by Sir Henry Jerningham, Kt., but was partly rebuilt and much enlarged about twenty years ago. The structure is of brick, in the Tudor style, with battlements and square windows, and several of the commodious apartments are elegantly furnished, and contain many fine paintings. Contiguous to the hall, is the family Catholic Chapel, an elegant edifice in the Gothic style, 90 feet long, 25 wide, and 20 high ; it has twenty beautiful foliated windows, adorned with stained glass, brought from various monasteries on the continent. William the Conqueror gave the manor to Alan, Earl of Richmond. After passing through several families, Queen Mary granted it to her Vice Chamberlain, Sir Henry Jerningham, who founded the Hall. His descendant, the late Sir Geo Jerningham, was heir general of the bodies of Sir Wm. Howard and Mary Stafford his wife, Baron and Baroness Stafford. Sir Wm. Howard was created Baron Stafford after espousing the heiress of the Stafford family in 1640, but being attainted in the supposed Popish plot, he was beheaded in 1678, when all his honours were forfeited. By the reversal of this unjust attainder in 1824, Sir Geo Jerningham succeeded to the tile of Baron Stafford, but for several years he was greatly annoyed by Mr. Richard Stafford Cooke, who claimed to be heir of the Barony, and instituted expensive law suits, in which he was defeated, though he had gone so far as to take a sort of formal possession of the baronial estates in Staffordshire and Shropshire. The late Lord Stafford died on the 4th of October, 1851, and was succeeded by his son, the Hon. Henry Valentine Stafford Jerningham, the present lord. The church, dedicated to St. Edmund, is a spacious edifice, with a square tower, surmounted with a wooden spire. It had formerly three guilds. The rectorial tithes belong to the Great Hospital at Norwich, together with the patronage of the perpetual curacy, which is certified at £40, and is now enjoyed by the Rev. James Wm. Evans, who has 51 acres of glebe. In the village is a Baptist Chapel, and a handsome Catholic chapel, completed in 1841. Attached to the latter is a large burial ground. The Catholic School, built in 1820, and conducted on the Lancasterian system, is supported by Lord Stafford, for the education of 120 children, but those belonging Protestant parents are not taught the Catholic Catechism, nor required to attend the Catholic Chapel. Here is also a National School, and a British School. The poor have £2 2s. a year, from 1a. 1r. of land, given by an unknown donor, and a yearly rent of 30s., given by John Hyrne. The necessitous of all denominations here participate largely in the benevolence of Lord Stafford, who also allows them to gather fuel in his plantations, on certain days of the year. The Costessey Lime is celebrated among paper makers, and for building purposes.
Post Office at Mr. John Spaul's. Letters arrive at 9 a.m., and are despatched at 5p.m.
1891 Census Names Index
Hunt's 1850 [GENUKI-NFK]
Costessey watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Costessey postmill [Jonathan Neville]
Chapel of St Helen and Methodist church [Simon Knott]
Costessey Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on Costessey [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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