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
WHO WAS JOHN STERLYNGE (OR STARLING OR STALYNG)?
False windows alternate with the glassed clerestory windows.
nother late 15th-century feature of the church is the
clerestory or windowed upper story of the nave. Note
from the south churchyard, as you come in through the lych gate, what Pevsner calls the “blank straight-headed transomed stone windows” between the actual clerestory windows. Roberts and Mortlock find this clerestory very striking, though Pevsner considers it “ambitious, somewhat restless”, while Cautley says it was “shockingly restored”. The layman might suppose that the false windows were the originals, filled in when the new clerestory was built, but all the experts accept them as deliberate additional decoration of the external wall.

An inscription on the outside of the south face of the clerestory invites worshippers to “pray for the sowle of John Stalyng”. Cotton and Tricker wonder whether he was the builder of the new parts of the
church in the last quarter of the 15th century. It is known that a John Sterlynge of Northwold made his will in 1510. On the other hand a John Starling of Hockwold made his in 1462. Surnames were
spelt in many different ways according to taste and mood in those days. On the face of it, the Northwold man seems the more likely candidate to be John Stalyng. Arthur Mee, always on the alert for a good story, but not giving his source, says that John Stalyng’s stone coffin is bricked up in the wall.

The painted roof, with its alternate hammer beams and arched braces resting in stone corbels is one of the finest features of the church. It is of the same period as the tower. Cotton and Tricker, echoing Cautley, suggest that the Victorian restorers retained the roof’s original colours. Note the golden- pinioned six-winged angels at the intersections, and the rosy-cheeked holders of heraldic shields on the hammer beams. One of them, as stated above, reminds us of Bishop Hugh.

 

The painted roof or the arcade