I’M STILL researching the Catholics in Costessey. But I should have known Simon Knott would have got there before me – at least as far as the church is concerned. His Norfolk churches remains the gold standard for local websites. There’s loads of good detail there:
There were pockets in Norfolk where the Catholic Faith not only survived through the long penal years, but flourished, and not as an exotic species. These were the parishes where the local Big Family refused to switch to the new protestant Church of England, but stubbornly clung to the Faith of their forebears. The most steadfast of all these recusant families were probably the Jerninghams of Costessey Hall.”
This pictured is pinched from there too. Have also found a lovely quote in the Millennium LIbrary archives from what looks like a an academic thesis from 1965. The anonymous writer describes Old Costessey as “an introspective Roman Catholic enclave in a Protestant region.” A nice one-liner which sums it up perfectly.