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Costessey Hall
Costessey Hall
  About your Area

Costessey (pronounced 'kos-ee) is a civil parish situated 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Norwich in Norfolk, England. The parish comprises two settlements: the long-established village of Costessey (now commonly Old Costessey) (2005 population 4,611), and New Costessey (population 5,211), which developed during the first half of the twentieth century and has become a suburb of Norwich. The two settlements are separated by the River Tud and by arable land. Costessey's northern boundary with Taverham, Drayton and Hellesdon follows the course of the River Wensum.

Costessey parish has an area of 12.39 km² and in the 2001 census had a population of 9,822 in 4,255 households.[1] It constitutes the most northern reaches of the predominantly rural South Norfolk District; Costessey is the second largest population centre within the district, after Wymondham.


[edit] History

Costessey lies in the valleys of the Rivers Wensum and Tud. Archaeological records indicate that there was a strong farming community on this site during the late Bronze Age and Roman times. Anglo-Saxon settlers established a community at some point after 600 AD, and it is generally believed that the name Costessey, translated as Kost's Island, dates from this time. Furthermore, records from 1648 recount that Oliver Cromwell referred to the village and estate as Cossey, indicating that the unorthodox spelling and pronunciation of the name have long existed. There is also evidence to suggest that the name was changed from Cossey to Costessey in the 19th century due to this spelling problem.

Costessey features in the legend of St Walstan, the little-known patron saint of farm labourers, who is remembered in villages across Norfolk and north Suffolk. According to legend, Walstan was born into nobility at neighbouring Bawburgh (then part of Costessey estate) circa 970, but he relinquished his privileges, choosing instead to spend most of his life working as a farm labourer in Taverham. His initial route by foot from Bawburgh to Taverham took Walstan through Costessey Park, where it is said he donated his noble garments to two passing peasants. Following his death and the return of his body by cart to Bawburgh, springs of holy water are said to have arisen at three sites in Taverham, Costessey and Bawburgh.

[edit] Costessey Hall & Manor

In Domesday records, the village of Costesela appears, with mention of a mill, and of a manor with over 80 square miles (210 km²) of estate across Norfolk, including the only listed hunting park in Norfolk. This formerly belonged to one Earl Guert but was awarded by William the Conqueror to the Count of Brittany, a commander at the Battle of Hastings. Here began a 500-year period in which ownership of the manor passed through a variety of families, regularly being reverted to the Crown and reallocated.

In 1546, Henry VIII granted the manor to Anne of Cleves, although evidence suggests that she never actually occupied Costessey Hall. A surviving early Tudor building sited in what remains of Costessey Park is thought by some to be the hall granted by Henry. In 1555, Queen Mary granted Costessey Manor to Sir Henry Jernegan, heralding a long period of occupancy by the Jernegans, Jerninghams and Stafford Jerninghams. Sir Henry commissioned the building of a new Tudor Hall on Costessey Park, beginning his residency there in 1565.

In 1827, Sir George William Jerningham, 8th Baron Stafford, commissioned large-scale grand and elaborate expansions of Sir Henry's Hall, with many towers and mock-Tudor windows. The project was ongoing over several decades, continued by the 9th Baron Stafford from 1851, and although many features of the new design were realised, completion was ultimately prevented by dwindling funds. The 10th Baron Stafford, who inherited the title in 1884, was certified as a lunatic; during his ownership, the estate was held by the Lunacy Commission. The generous and reclusive Sir FitzOsbert Stafford Jerningham, 11th Baron Stafford, resided at Costessey Hall until his death in 1913, upon which the Hall's contents were auctioned at a high-profile sale.

[edit] Costessey since 1913

The final owner of the empty but intact building was the War Office, who commandeered the Hall from 1914-18 for the training of infantry, cavalry and artillery troops to serve in World War I. Soon after war ended, Costessey Park was divided into small plots sold cheaply to working-class residents of Norwich, who erected makeshift wooden houses or brought disused railway carriages as their dwellings. The well-trodden paths amongst these plots became the basis of a street network, and the ramshackle homes gave way to brick buildings during the 1930s - 1950s, to become New Costessey. The street names of Jerningham Road and Stafford Avenue honour the local associations with the aristocratic family.

The structure of Costessey Hall was gradually weathered, plundered by builders, and carefully demolished over a period of several decades. During training for World War II, one of the towers was struck by a fully-armed Blenheim Bomber from a nearby airfield, causing the death of the unfortunate pilot but inflicting remarkably little damage upon the tower. Today, all that remains of the building is the belfry tower, now ivy-clad, and a small adjoining block, which stand prominently in what is now Costessey Park Golf Course. Costessey village sign depicts the hall in its former splendour. Plans for the hall to be part of a new complex for an architecture business are only in their early stages.

[edit] Costessey today

[edit] Services

Costessey today has a range of local shops and services. There are three pubs (The Bush, The Harte and The Crown); a fourth (The Roundwell), situated on the former perimeter of Costessey Park, is disused.

The parish also contains out-of-town superstores and a Park and Ride site, which serve communities to the west of Norwich. The Norfolk Showground is situated on the western parish border with Easton. Marriott's Way footpath follows the route of the dismantled Norwich-to-Reepham railway across the north of the parish. Pockets of old woodland remain at East Hills and Gunton Lane, the latter named after the prominent Gunton family of Costessey.

The Street...Then & Now If you were to walk down The Street in Old Costessey in the middle 1800's you would recognise a lot of the houses, for most of them are still standing today and some still as they were back then. The Street has changed little over the past 100 years.

[edit] Education

There are three schools in New Costessey which cater for ages 4 to 18. Old Costessey is served by St Augustine's Roman Catholic primary school which caters for ages 4 to 11. Costessey High School, a Specialist Science College since 2003, has around 1000 pupils and serves Easton, Marlingford, East Tuddenham, Bawburgh and the neighbouring suburb of Bowthorpe, as well as Costessey. The school was built in 1952 and has staged premieres of various musicals for schools in Norfolk, performing Les Misérables in 2003 and Jekyll & Hyde in 2006.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 52.66023° N 1.21614° E

(Source: Wikipedia)
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