Also with pictures of Heydon Hall.


This quaint tiny village is it. What you see is what you get.


The beautiful village is quite small and all owned by one family,


Heydon Village, 14 miles North of Norwich, England

My italics, T.G.K.


“On visiting the Town of Heydon in 1887, we found a beautiful district of country, and were very kindly received at the rectory by Rev. Mr. Shand, who showed us the fine old St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, built in what is known as the “perpendicular” or early English style and introduced us also at Heydon Hall the residence of Mr. Bulwer. On the way over through the park, he pointed out the site of the ancient Heydon Hall filled with paintings, books, and other usual indications of wealth and refinement but is a fine specimen of its kind."  


That residence existed before the present Heydon Hall was built. This newer residence, erected in 1581 is not built on top of the old location.  The present Heydon Hall was built for the Colfer and Kemp families and no Heydon family has ever lived in this present hall. See new 2001 photos at end.    


            In the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Heydon Village on the west end by the baptism font, hangs a green painted wooden shield with the cross of St. George and the name "Heydon" on top with a crown over it.  It's ownership and use has been lost in time but it is a remnant of the Holy Crusades.



St. Peter and St. Paul's Church


A partial transcript of C.L.S. Linnell, Keble College, Oxford, July, 1963

My italics.T.G.K.


            “Heydon is not mentioned in Domesday Book (1086) for the reason that the township is an example of sub-infeudation, or subdivision of the Manor Heydon, being part of the township of Stinton.  The Manor of Stinton extended into the adjoining parish of Salle, of which it became a part and Heydon became a separate township.


            There are few memorials of the family of Heydon who took their name from the place, but their arms can be seen in the sound holes in the third story of the church tower, (see church photos) in the spandrels of the outer arch of the south porch and on the wooden shield hanging at the west end of the nave against the respond of the tower arch.  William Heydon later left Heydon for Baconsthorpe, where he purchased an estate in 1447 and where his son, John Heydon, built a fortified Manor House, known as Baconsthorpe Castle, (see side bar) of which considerable remains yet exist. There are many memorials to the Heydon family in Baconsthorpe Church. See side bar.


            The Dynne family succeeded the Heydons and Henry Dynne, one of the auditors of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth I, built (c.1580) Heydon Hall, (pictures at end) which was considerably enlarged by William Wiggett Bulwer towards the end of the eighteenth century.  Henry Dynne died in 1586 after which the estate passed into the hands of the Colfer and Kempe families and in 1650 Sir Robert Kempe sold it to Erasmus Earle, the eminent lawyer and Parliamentarian who was M.P. for Norwich in the Long Parliament, Sergeant-at Law under Cromwell and Commissioner for Norwich for maintaining the forces under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax.  At King Charles II restoration, he obtained the Royal Pardon.  He died in 1667 and is buried under the vast table tomb at the east end of the north aisle, together with his wife, Frances Fountaine, and his grandson Ralph.  The monument, together with the cartouche memorial on the wall above with the Latin inscription having been erected by another grandson, Erasmus II, who was High Sheriff for Norfolk in 1690 and died in 1721. His granddaughter and heiress, Mary married William Wiggett Bulwer in 1756.


            The Church, like so many in East Anglia, is a good example of how an earlier building was adapted and brought into line with the late fifteenth century "perpendicular" style, about the year 1470.  The arcades are fourteenth century and are part of the earlier building, but this fourteenth century church represented the rebuilding of an earlier church still to which belonged the unusual tub-shaped, twelfth or thirteenth century, Baptismal Font. (See pictures below)


            In the fifteenth century, however, there seems to have been a complete reconstruction done.  Although the fourteenth century arcades were retained, the nave walls were raised in height providing for a lofty clerestory with perpendicular windows.  But the earlier fourteenth century quatrefoil windows can still be seen.  All of them blocked up, except for the two easternmost ones on the north and south for the purpose of giving extra light upon the Rood.


            Definition of Rood Screen and Rood: A screen, often of elaborate design and properly surmounted by a rood, separating the nave from the choir or chancel of a church.  Rood, Holy Rood: The Cross or Crucifix at the entrance to the chancel of a medieval church. The most notable 15th century survival is the rood screen, although the Holy Rood itself (the cross on top) has gone.  The screen was the gift of John Dynne, whose son Henry built Heydon Hall. (See Pictures below)


            The chancel was also raised in height at this time bringing it into proportion with the nave and provided with tall perpendicular windows on the east and south.  The tracery of the east window having been renewed in 1847, at which time the existing oak paneled reredos (a decorated part of the wall behind the altar) was introduced.


            The aisles were extended into their present size at the time of the fifteenth century rebuilding and given the perpendicular windows on the north and south, but at the west ends of the aisles the earlier fourteenth century windows, with their curvilinear tracery, were allowed to remain.  The Chapel at the east end of the north aisle (in the position at present occupied by the tomb of Erasmus Earle) was dedicated to St. John the Baptist and that at the east end of the south aisle to "our Lady."  The piscinae for the altars (a basin with a drain to carry away the water, used in ritual ablutions) can still be seen and it is likely that both these chapels were enclosed by parclose screens, the joint for that enclosing the south chapel being visible in the south east pillar of the arcade, into which is fitted the Achievement of Arms, for Dynne impaling Aylward.


            The north and south porches are also fifteenth century, the south (with chamber above) having a vaulted roof, the center boss (boss: a raised ornamental design on another surface) being carved with a representation of our Lord in Glory, the subsidiary bosses having angels.


            To the fifteenth century also belong the beautiful west tower, the diagonal buttresses and the stair turret being carried right up to the top, giving it the appearance of great solidity.  One pleasing feature being the way in which the drip moulds of the buttress set-offs are carried right up across the four faces of the tower.  Notice also the cricketed pinnacles and the small traceried sound holes with shields bearing the Heydon arms.


            There are now once again six bells in the tower, all of which were cast in 1840, which included the recasting of the one single mediaeval bell that remained after the acts of plundering and pillaging in 1547. (There had been 6 bells prior to 1547 and factional "religious" warfare..In 1552 Heydon Church had 3 large bells in the tower and "3 lytle bells". Five were removed by the commissioners of the Duke of Somerset, the Lord Protector of the Kingdom, and an extreme Protestant during the reign of the boy King Edward the VI, and only the biggest bell was left.)


            Of the fifteenth century furnishings there remain the simple arch-braced roofs in nave and aisles, those in the aisles having traceried spandrels, a few benches with poppy heads in the nave and the "wine glass" pulpit on its original stone base. (See Picture)  It has been given a seventeenth century sounding board, the back board having let into it a panel of Flemish carving (c.1640) representing the Last Supper, the present staircase to the pulpit being erected in 1894, the balusters of which formerly formed part of the Communion Rails.


            Most noteworthy of the fifteenth century furnishings is the Rood Screen (See picture) with much of its original color and panels. The Rood Loft has disappeared, but the upper door and the staircase leading to it remain, but the lower door has been blocked up.


There are fragments of fifteenth century glass.  In particular are those in the south-west window representing The Christ of the Trades, the figure of our Lord surrounded by a variety of instruments-scythe, shovel, pitch fork, etc., to show that Jesus, the carpenter and the son of a carpenter, has dignifies all human labor. At the time Blomefield wrote there was a great deal more fifteenth century glass, including a representation of Hell's mouth with figures of twelve youths bearing scrolls with warnings against swearing, drunkenness and dice playing.  See also The "Blasphemy" Window at Heydon in The Norwich School of Glass Painting in the Fifteenth Century by Christopher Woodforde.


            (Aside from the Heydons, there are many other memorials and brasses in the church to honor the names of Beck, Hokele, Taverner, Castell, Mordaunt, Bulwer and other details to extensive to insert here in this short space).


            The inventory of Church Goods made in 1552 will give you a brief idea of the spoilation of Heydon Church along with nearly every other church in England at that time of religious and social warfare and revolution.  One Hundred twenty ounces of silver plate were seized and sold. A large portion of the funds were used to pay for equipping the soldiers and the rest for road repair and white washing the interior of the church to cover up and hide all the religious paintings and murals.


            For the next half-century, Heydon Church must have presented a somewhat bare and forlorn appearance but there are considerable remains of the refurnishing which was carried out during the early part of the seventeenth century.  In addition to the pulpit sounding board already mentioned, some of the Jacobean box pews can still be seen in the north aisle, and in 1696 Erasmus Earle erected the large family pew at the east end of the nave against the screen.  The elaborate book locker fixed to the walk above being of the same date as the pew.  Not long after this the Royal Arms Board, at the west end of the north aisle, was painted showing the arms and the motto (semper eadem) of Queen Anne (1702-14)


            The Church was extensively restored in 1847 and again during the years 1894-97.  In 1895 the south porch was restored in memory of the rector Rev. George Shand and the oil painting of Mater Dolorosa in the south aisle was the gift of his widow in 1897.  In 1899 the buttress at the southeast corner was restored and strengthened and in 1902 the southwest buttress to the south porch was rebuilt, at which time the pre-reformation Sundial, or Mass Clock, cut in one of the quoins, was discovered.  To this period also belongs much of the stained glass in the windows of the north side.


             Since then, there have been many further restorations made by the Bulwer family.


            (Luckily none of this rebuilding of the church was affected by the 15th century "Wars of the Roses'', with constant battles and princes being murdered in the Tower of London.  At one time, England had two kings, each in prison, one held by an earl and the other by his brother, the Archbishop of York.)


            One of this church's most fascinating features is on the north wall.  Two memorial plaques were placed there fairly recently but it was not until 1970, when the wall was being cleaned, that the much earlier murals were discovered under a coat of whitewash.  The drawings and captions are on a grandiose scale; and the three kings with the skull are probably an allegory, to remind us that Death is no respecter of persons. (See pictures)





The old Heydon arms are way up in the 3rd tier above.  (not these over the door.)              
 This door above is from the original old Saxon church in Heydon Village before this church.


Changes in the Customs of Worship during 50 years

"First, the Heydons had sold their Heydon holdings and moved to Baconsthorpe. Then the Dyne family became the big fish in the little pond.  In 1480 John Dyne gave the rood screen to the Church.  About 100 years later Henry Dyne built Heydon Hall. (See those pictures below)

        John Dyne was buried in the church below the rood screen in 1493. Let us consider now the terrible drastic changes which the descendants and all of the peaceful and law abiding people of Heydon and the entire country would have lived to witness in that time.  Consider those same happenings right here, today, with various types of religious beliefs.

            We complain of a changing order of society here and now, but what a religious confusion and torment faced our ancestors back then.  They were simple farm workers and weavers who probably longed for a couple of decent meals and a warm fire in their thatched huts.

Here is what everyone baptized as an infant in this church during 1520 saw and who lived to later see the building of Heydon Hall in just that short span of time.

Our parishioner was aware of and taking part in the holy mysteries of this medieval church, where fervent masses were being said and a celibate priest wearing rich vestments was perpetually burning incense to the saints in the two chapels and on the high altar where hung the PYX containing the Blessed Sacrament.

            All the woodwork then was painted and gilded and the walls were covered with paintings of very great beauty.  The windows contained brilliantly covered glass.  Images of the Virgin Mary and of the Saints stood in niches and people prayed before them for comfort and forgiveness for the living and the dead.

            After the breach with Rome, our parishioner born in 1520 would, now in his teens, then see a bible in Latin and one in English in the chancel.

            King Henry VIII proclaimed himself head of the Church of England in 1535 and the idea of universal Catholicism was finished.

When our parishioner was next in his twenties, he would witness terrible destruction of the furnishings of the church, which would lose the statues, and pictures of his childhood; the saints and Kings and Queens from the walls.  The absence of candles and lamps would increase the desolation and gloom.

            Next in 1549,he would have to get used to the first Book of Common Prayer in English, one monthly Communion Service instead of daily celebrations of the Latin mass, and morning and evening prayer every Sunday.

            One year later, He would witness the removal and/or the destruction of the high altar and a plain table was put in its place.

            By two years later, he would witness the removal of the last of the colored vestments and ornaments from the church, and he would be aware of the dissolution of the monasteries.

            Abruptly then, in 1554, the Catholic Queen Mary restored the English Church to Papal control in Rome. Also the High Altar was restored and the Mass in Latin was brought back into use, (-even though no one knew what was being said which was like ‘speaking in tongues’ with no one to translate. All the reforms of recent years were wiped out and edicts issued to pray before the reinstalled images. Theatrical vestments, ornaments, burning smoke, candles, chanting, and jingling bells were again in vogue.)

            A very few years later, however, our parishioner, still not yet even 30 years old, saw his church change yet again.  Catholic Mary Tudor reigned only 5 years and got her head chopped off.  In 1558 her Protestant sister Elizabeth ascended the throne.  Under her rule the Roman Catholic furnishings were once again removed and the church was given a plain, empty appearance and additionally all of the murals and paintings were given a thick coat of whitewash.  The English prayer book and the Bible in English were restored to use.

            By the time our Heydon worshiper was just now approaching 50, in about 1570, the first rumblings of Puritanism began and the Book of Common Prayer was described as being "full of abominations."  All of this turmoil took place from 1520 to 1570, in just the span of just 50 years."

 The battle scarred Heydon Shield with the Cross of St. George in St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in Heydon Village.  It certainly had belonged to one of the Heydons who had taken part in the crusades. At the top of the shield is the name of Heydon with a gold crown over the name.

Blessed art Thou Among Women /        Unto Us A Child Is Born  /            Mine Eyes Have Seen Thy Salvation

The Baptism Font is probably the oldest item in Heydon Church and dates from the 1200's. It is large enough for the baby to be immersed.  There are marks on the rim showing where there used to be a hinge for the cover, which was kept locked to keep people from stealing the Holy Water for personal use. Paint traces show that the font was once brightly colored.


The Wine Glass Pulpit and the organ in  St. Peter and St Paul's Church in  Heydon Village.

This memorial to the Bulwers in the church at Heydon was not erected purposely over the face of these ancient murals. It was during the Puritan Reformation that all of the Roman Catholic and later High Anglican churches were stripped of all of their icons, vestments and adornments of any kind, manner, shape or form.  The wall paintings and Bible lessons were whitewashed over and even the altars were removed and plain tables were used instead.  It was only a few hundred years later, in the 1970's, when the church walls were being cleaned that the beautiful old murals were discovered and are now being restored. This one is part of a mural depicting a parable of three kings and three skeletons representing death. The moral of the story is that death respects no status of the persons it takes. The third king was accidentally destroyed when the window on the right was added with no knowledge of the mural underneath the whitewash it was destroying.

Adoration of the Magi



This is an old excerpt from “Seats of Great Britain

 Note that no Heydons have ever lived in this new Heydon Hall.

 Heydon Hall in the county of Norfolk, six miles from Aylsham and fourteen from Norwich.  The house is an Elizabethan structure, built in 1584, and is situated upon an elevated table land, from which circumstance it has evidently derived its name; high-down, or plain upon the hill, corrupted by time into Heydon.  It was formerly possessed by the Earles, having been purchased by the distinguished lawyer, Erasmus Earle, Own Serjeant-at-law* to Oliver Cromwell.  This office he continued to hold under Cromwell's son Richard, being likewise Serjeant to the Commonwealth.  He also represented Norwich in the Long Parliament, and in 1644 was appointed with Thurloe secretary for the English at the treaty of Uxbridge.  Such was his reputation; being esteemed one of the ablest lawyers of his time, that in the Norfolk circuit he almost monopolized the business.  At the restoration he took the benefit of the King's pardon, and was again, with some others, called to the degree of  ** Serjeant-at-law.

 By the marriage of the eminent lawyer's descendant, Mary, daughter of Augustine Earle, Esq., with William Bulwer, Esq., of Wood Dalling, Heydon came to the family of the Bulwers, who have held lands, and resided at Wood Dalling since the Conquest.  The eldest son of the marriage with the heiress of Heydon, was William Earle Bulwer, Esq., a Brigadier-General in the army, and Colonel of the 106th Foot, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Warburton Lytton, Esq., of Knebworth Park, Herts, and died in 1807, leaving three sons, William Earle Lytton Bulwer, Esq., now of Heydon Hall, Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, K.C.B., and Sir Edward L. Bulwer-Lytton, Bart., of Knebworth. 

 The patronage of the livings of Heydon and Guestwick still remains in the family but the perpetual advowsons of Salle and Cawstons, which manors had also been bought by Erasmus Earle, have been given by the family of Bulwer to endow Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.

                  At one time there was a park here, consisting of about six hundred acres, but of this the greater portion has been broken up.

·                   ** Serjeant-at-law various definitions: (British) A barrister of superior rank in England.  An officer of the court who arrested offenders, issued summonses, and enforced court orders.  A person below a knight and holding land in return for military services.-End.-


The next four pictures are with permission of Tom  Stevenson. Visit his web site at: http://www.genealogysource.com/stevenson.htm




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This is the end of the Heydon Village Report

Thank you for visiting.

 Posted to web site April 2, 2009.
Thomas Garner Keys