Explore Holt

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Holt, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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St Katherine's Church, HoltThe present parish church of St Katharine was originally a chapel of Bradford’s Holy Trinity. Only the south porch doorway and the tower are medieval, in 15th century perpendicular style. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1891 to the designs of the Wiltshire architect Charles Edwin Ponting (1850-1932).

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National School, HoltIn common with the other villages of the Bradford Hundred, Holt was provided with a school in 1835 by the National School Society, which was an Anglican organisation. The building, near the church, is a single-storey hall in late medieval perpendicular style. It closed when a new non-denominational school was built.

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Ham Green, HoltAt the centre of the old village nucleus is a triangular green called Ham Green– the name derives either from an old word for a meadow, or refers to the settlement itself. The cast iron posts surrounding the grass were made by Henry Martin in Bridge Street, Bradford and are listed.

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Old Ham Tree pub, HoltOn the western side of the green is the Old Ham Tree pub. It  takes its name from an enormous old elm tree which grew on the Ham until it became dangerous and had to be felled in 1883. Originally, however, it was called the New Inn, but by the beginning of the 20th century it was no longer new.

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Holt Reading RoomsHolt Reading Rooms opened as a single-storey building in 1873 for the village working men and a billiard room was added in 1893. A second floor was added after the First World War as a war memorial, but it closed soon after doing service a a kitchen in World War 2. It was re-opened as a village hall in 1956. A bowling green behind was converted to a car park in 1970 and a single-storey extension was added in 1978 to hold a skittle alley, toilets and space for use as a surgery.

Toll Gate Inn, HoltThe other pub near the Ham, the Toll Gate, has also had a change of name. Until a major refit in about 1980 it was known as the White Hart. The new name comes from its position near where the turnpike toll gate once stood. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the publican was also a farmer.

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Congregational Chapel, HoltThe cube-shaped old Congregational Chapel was built in 1810 and enlarged in 1846. In 1880 a new chapel, in the form of a Victorian gothic church, was built alongside and the old building became the Congregational School. The school was run by the County from 1902 and merged with the National School in 1936, although both buildings were in use until a new school was built in 1962 and this one continued until 1973.

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The Courts, HoltThe Courts is an early Georgian mansion built in the baroque style. It was described as newly-built in 1731 when it and adjacent dyehouse and workshops belonged to the clothier John Phelps. At the end of the 18th century a woollen cloth factory was built there, but all the industrial works were demolished a century later after bankruptcy of Joseph Gordon Jones and David Bruce Little in 1885.

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The Courts Garden, HoltThe Courts Gardens were initially designed by Dr [later Sir] George Hastings 1902-1905. Much of what can be seen today was planted by Major Clarence and Lady Cecilie Goff between 1921 and 1943, when he gave it and the house to the National Trust.

The gardens are open to the public April to October daily except Wednesday.

Three Lions, HoltA third pub was operating in Holt. The Three Lions is distinguished by the sculpture of three reclining lions on its wall. They probably derive from the lions on the arms of the de Holte and Lisle families, who held Holt. The pub closed in about 1990 and has been converted into sheltered housing.

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Staverton BridgeStaverton Bridge crosses the River Avon between the parishes of Holt and Staverton. It is a little like Bradford Bridge in having two medieval gothic arches (the two on the Holt side) with the others rebuilt later (in 1793) and the whole doubled in width, although still so narrow that lights have to control alternate traffic.

 

 

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> The Holt Spa    —– > Major Clarence Goff

Holt, Wiltshire history

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