On Sunday January 28th, 2024, Lord and Lady Stafford visited Our Lady & St Walstan’s for the morning Mass at the end of which everyone processed to the cemetery for the blessing of the recently restored Jerningham Memorial. The Jerningham family lived at Costessey Hall for many centuries and kept the Catholic faith throughout the Reformation, one of the famous recusant families of Norfolk. In the 19th century, the Jerninghams married into the Stafford family. Costessey Hall closed after the First World War and was demolished over a number of years. Costessey golf course now occupies the site. One of the last parts to be decommissioned was the cemetery and in 1953 the bodies buried there were transferred to the cemetery at Our Lady & St Walstan’s. It is the memorial over their grave that has been restored and which Lord and Lady Stafford came to visit. After the blessing, Lord Stafford thanked everyone for attending and especially for looking after his ancestors. The parish and their guests then retired to the Garden Room for refreshments and to look at a wonderful display of photographs of Costessey Hall assembled by local historian Paul Cooper.
Author: Fr. David Ward