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A Look into The Past
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Costessey Hall & Photo Gallery
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In October 1982 I compiled on behalf of the Costessey Society, a list of all buildings considered to be of historic interest in the village of Costessey. This was to comply with the Secretary of State for the Environment's guidelines. These lists have been used for this record but have been extended to include all properties listed in the 1840 Tithe Award, and the text has been arranged in order that the reader can be taken on a photographic tour of the village as it would have been between the mid 1800 period and the early 1900 period. Where old photographs have not been available, present day photographs have been used, and as these were taken in 1995 they have not been dated after their identification number which coincides with the section number which a full description can be found.
Most of the buildings had been recorded in the 'Gunton Papers' produced by H.E. Gunton after he had retired from the post of Parish Clerk in 1958. He had used photographs produced by two earlier photographers, Francis Welch, postmaster of Costessey 1906-1942, and Ernest Ottaway, baker and grocer, Central Stores, Costessey 1901-1920. All of this work has been lodged at he Norwich Central Library and destroyed in the multi-million pound blaze in August 1994. Fortunately in 1990, I spent many days in the Norwich Central Library photographing on to negative film all the photographs pertaining to the 'Gunton Papers' and these negatives can now be used to replace all those lost in the blaze. In addition, photographs offered to me when interviewing the occupiers of the old houses, together with those taken by Hallam Ashley FRPS, a Costessey photographer in 1951 and myself in 1995, are included in this record.
In 1970 the Costessey Society presented a copy of the 'Gunton Papers' to the Costessey Branch Library. Tim East, Parish Councilor, obtained a copy of this and loaned it to me, and Group Capt. Ron Hill presented me with his copy of the 1839 Tithe Award map. These records have been researched, all properties identified and the Tithe Award number shown against the heading of each section as is the letter (L), where applicable, which indicates that the property is a listed building. Also, in 1994, the office of Messrs Pemeroy and Sons, the Costessey Estate solicitors, of Wymondham was cleared of all Estate documents which were passed over to me as a temporary custodian. They contained much historical information which has been included in this record.
Thanks are due to many Costessey residents who were very helpful during my interviews with them, especially those who loaned me their photographs of the past. My grateful thanks are also due to Mrs Sylvia Yates who has read through this record and, with regard to its literacy composition, has suggested improvements, and to Mr Tim East who has explored various avenues regarding the publication of this book,

'Costessey A Look into The Past'

Ernest G. Gage
December 1997

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Ernest G Gage
The publishers wishes to thank the Eastern Evening News for there permission to use the above photograph of the author taken by Harry Naylor.

Ernest Gage moved to Folgate Lane, Costessey in 1956. He retired from the drawing office of the GPO in 1975. In his retirement he was an accomplished wine maker - organ player of the year - water colour painter and photographer.

He then became interested in history and was known as the Local Historian. He began his research into the history of Costessey and published his first book on Costessey Hall in 1991. In 1992 he continued his research into the history of Old Costessey and his second book 'Costessey - A Look into The Past' was published in February 2002.

Sadly Ernest Gage, the author of 'Costessey Hall' and 'Costessey - A Look Into the Past' died in 2010. Ernest would be very pleased to know that his last book 'Costessey - A Look Into the Past' is being reprinted
© 2013 Brian E Gage

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