Preface | Quick Quide | Northwold Enters Written History | The Ely Connection | Northwold in Domesday
Northwold’s Greatest Son – A Benedictine Monk | Bishop Hugh’s Early English Church | From Early English to Decorated
Early Rectors, the Black Death & a Wall Painting | The Easter Sepulchre | Who Was John Sterlynge (or Starling or Stalyng)?
How St. Andrew’s Acquired Its Tower | The Tudor Period | Northwold Under The Stuarts and Cromwell
Georgian St. Andrew’s | Modern Times – From Charles Norman Onwards | A Brief Note on Sources
GEORGIAN ST. ANDREW’S

The coat of arms of George II above the entrance to the chancel.

he House of Hanover inherited the throne from the
Stuarts. There were four Georges in succession. When
roof timbers were restored in 1994 some of the most sturdy were found to have been installed in the reign of George II. Proud churchwardens had had their initials carved into them. A bracket attached later to another of them bore the date 1776, which American visitors will not be able to see but will instantly recall as the year of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

The Bridget Holder tablet.

Rectors during the 18th century were John Clark (1714), Richard Oram (1757), James Bentham (1774), Peploe Ward (1779), Richard Watson (1780),
William Hinton (1781), Thomas Waddington (1805) and George Waddington (1814). Under Richard Oram’s will the parish belatedly received £50 ( £2368 in our terms) in 1804 towards the installation of a church clock, which was installed in 1807 at a cost £102.14s.6d. (say £4462 in today’s values). The same clock, refurbished several times after some long and some short interruptions, works well to this day. It strikes the hours with a particularly mellow note, befitting its great age. In 1818 William Dobson of Downham made a peal of six bells, a fact recorded in an inscription to be found on a shelf inside the tower. Two more bells were added later. Enthusiastic ringers use them regularly.

Eighteenth-century church architects made galleries fashionable, and so St. Andrew’s acquired some which concealed and marred the Early English arcade. They remained there until some enlightened restorers removed them in 1951. Some of the timber survives in a massive chest in the north west corner of the nave, used for storing altar hangings. Cautley visited the church before the galleries were removed and remarked that they disfigured the building.

The Georgian font.

Ann (née Hopkin) tablet.
 

The Victorian font at the west end of the arcade.

The coat of arms of George II (1727-1760) stands high above the entrance to the chancel. Look at it through binoculars if you can. Cautley recalls that Royal Arms did not become compulsory in churches until the Restoration in 1660. In some churches 18th-century churchwardens, wishing to be up to date while unwilling to spend money, simply added a Hanoverian escutcheon to the original Stuart arms and changed the C of Charles to the G of George. Without evidence we cannot place the arms in St. Andrew’s into that category. But visitors will observe a particularly dashing lion and unicorn protecting the Hanoverian arms. They are rather well painted. Until 2002 it was difficult to see the detail with the naked eye, partly because the painting needed cleaning but mainly because the church lighting shone only downwards. The new lighting reveals the coat of arms quite clearly for the first time in many years.

Within the chancel there is a font supported on an elegant 18th-century baluster; it was moved to that position when the present elaborate font was installed in 1882. Among the relatively few wall tablets of this period is one commemorating Ann (née Hopkin), who died in 1732. The author of the inscription describes her as “an indearing wife, an indulgent mother, an affectionate relation, an honour to her family, an ornament to her sex.” She was only 22.

Other tablets remind us of Bridget Holder (one of the benefactors remembered inside the tower along with Richard Oram), John Carter (died 1798, another benefactor), and Richard Whish (died 1810). The list of benefactors records that Thomas Waddington left property to accommodate a school and a parish schoolmaster.