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

Church funds paid for the organ, which was erected in 1868.

Mr & Mrs Julius Angerstein by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

The National Gallery when at the home of Mr J J Angerstein.

The Rev. Charles Manners Richard Norman (1799-1873).

e enter modern times with the reigns of William IV
and Queen Victoria and their successors to the
present day. Next after Thomas Waddington as Rector was Charles Manners Richard Norman, born in 1799. Through his mother, Lady Elizabeth Norman (née Manners), who married Richard Norman of Leatherhead, he was a grand-son of the 4th Duke of Rutland and nephew of the 5th Duke, and a great grandson of the 4th Duke of Beaufort. His mother’s brothers were the 5th Duke of Rutland and two generals. He received the benefice of Northwold, worth £740 a year (just under £42,000 a year nowadays), from the Bishop of Ely in 1833. The tithes were commuted to a fixed rent charge of £896 (approximately £47,500 today) a few years later. In 1845 St. Andrew’s Northwold was described as a “large handsome fabric” with a “lofty tower (built in 1473) containing six bells and a good clock”(see p.13). The parish at that time had 1140 inhabitants. The size of the population has not changed to any great extent since then.

Charles Norman was a bachelor for the first eight years of his time in Northwold. Then he met and at the age of 41 married a spinster of 38 called Caroline Amelia Angerstein, whose father John was the owner of a huge estate round Weeting Hall. If Charles brought aristocratic connections, what did Caroline bring to the marriage? She was a grand- daughter of John Julius Angerstein (1735-1823), who came to England in 1750 from St. Petersburg, where his German family had been settled. He was a Lloyds under-writer by the time he was 21 and went on to

become one of the wealthiest men in England. When he died the British government bought his fabulous art collection in 1824 for £58,000 (at a conservative estimate about £3 million today) and used it as the nucleus of its new National Gallery. Connoisseurs of early Hollywood movies may remember the film Lloyds of London, made in 1936. Guy Standing played the pivotal part of John Julius Angerstein in what was then a star-studded cast including C. Aubrey Smith, Madeleine Carroll, George Sanders and Tyrone Power.

It was John Julius Angerstein who bought Weeting Hall and established the family there for more than a century, until Caroline’s brother William sold it in 1897. The Rev. Charles Norman died in 1873, in his 74th year. Caroline herself died aged 77 in 1879. She lived for a while as a widow in Brandon Hall, which was also owned by the Angersteins, and did charitable works in Brandon as well as in Northwold, where the school and the almshouses bear the family name of Norman. Whittington owes to her the foundation of its separate church, later the centre of its own ecclesiastical parish.

Charles Norman was Rector for 40 years. Charles and Caroline Norman have their tomb just inside the south entrance of the churchyard, near the lych gate.

During Charles Norman’s time – in 1852 – the church was re-seated, a fact recorded in an inscription on the wall inside the tower. When St. Andrew’s underwent other restoration work, in the eighteen fifties and sixties, the restorers appears to have shown more respect for the character of this ancient church than many of their contemporaries showed to churches elsewhere in England. A drainpipe to the west of the porch bears the date 1857. Inside the church another sign of those times is the organ erected in 1868, out of funds “from the Church Estate.” This organ bears a modern plaque recording the fact that for 42 years of the 20th century Arthur Barber, a local farmer, was voluntary organist. The font in front of the tower dates from 1882. Its elaborately carved cover, suspended from the Modern Times – From Charles Norman Onwards roof by a chain and capable of being raised and lowered, was added in 1887.

National, as opposed to family history, is reflected in the memorial tablet to Lieutenant William Carter of the 5th Fusiliers, who died in the siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. He was 32. Tombstones and wall tablets bear witness to the close attachment of the Carter family to this church in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Victorian Rectors after Charles Norman were Richard Snowdon Smith (1873), William Cowper Johnson (1889) and Claud Cecil Thornton (1892), who is commemorated in the fine and sturdy lych gate.

Since Thornton there have been nine Rectors: Nicholas Gepp (1911), whose eldest son’s death at Gallipoli in 1915 is commemorated in a tablet in the chancel; Alan Chaplin (1919); Arnold Wells (1924); Frederick Lacy (1935); James Thompson (1943 to 1955, when the benefice was suspended); David Savage (1958); Kenneth Taylor (1971); Canon John Rowsell (1981 to 1995); and

Nigel Tuffnell (1997 to 2003) who arrived after a vacancy lasting a year and a half. At the time of writing the process of finding a new incumbent to succeed Nigel Tuffnell has just begun.

Framed lists at the east end of the south aisle and the memorial cross just outside the churchyard record the names of those who died in the two World Wars of the 20th century.

Until the nineteen fifties the church had no electricity supply, and there are villagers who still remember the oil lamps lit on winter evenings and the coke-fired boiler stoked by a churchwarden to keep the church as warm as it could ever be. The imposing structure seen from the road has always concealed a vast space impossible to heat to everyone’s satisfaction. In the last half century the church has not escaped the effects of change in the social fabric of Norfolk villages, especially those which stem from the revolution in agricultural practice, the coming of television, the electrification of such railway lines as have survived the ruthless closures introduced by Lord Beeching, road improvements and ever wider car ownership. Kenneth Taylor was the last Rector to be responsible for St. Andrew’s alone. Canon Rowsell was simultaneously Rector of Northwold and Vicar of Methwold. Nigel Tuffnell became the first incumbent of a new benefice stretching from Wretton through Stoke Ferry and Whittington to Northwold. In spite of all these changes there is no mistaking the fact that the village loves and is proud of its church and prepared to fill it on solemn occasions and joyful festivals.