Holt is the next settlement to the east of Bradford. It was formerly a part of the ancient parish of Bradford, of the Manor of Bradford and Hundred of Bradford. A church existed at the beginning of the 12th century and a manor (or sub-manor) of Holt had been created by the 13th century. The modern civil parish of Holt was created in 1884, incorporating some areas, such as Ladydown, that were detached from Bradford. It became part of Bradford & Melksham Rural District, succeeded by West Wiltshire Council from 1974 until 2009. At no time in its history was Holt associated with Trowbridge.

The village lies at the edge of the Forest Marble clays, just above the alluvium and gravel of the River Avon. A small persistent stream runs through it from the dip slope of the Cotswolds to join the river.

The village consists of an old nuclear settlement around St Katherine’s church and a small triangular common or green called The Ham.  Later housing has developed along the main road (The Street) eastwards towards Melksham.

The 2001 Census recorded a population of 1,532 inhabitants. Agriculture has primarily been dairy farming, although equestrian centres are gaining ground. There was formerly a woollen cloth mill at The Courts and factories at the Midlands produced leather, gloves and beds. A small industrial estate at the Midlands until recently contained a printing company. Now (2012) there is once more a brewery since the Box Steam Brewery moved from Colerne (but it was formerly associated with the Bear in Box) to premises at the Midlands in Holt. The Glove Factory contains several units, notably a design studio.
Not long ago there were three public houses: the White Hart (now called the Tollgate), The Old Ham Tree and the Three Lions, which has closed. There is a café at the Glove Factory and another in the mansion at The Courts. A post office survives, as does a general shop, a National Trust shop and Seasons, a farm shop at the Tollgate, but the butcher Pike has gone.

There were once gravel pits on the Avon floodplain, near the former station.

The traditional style would have been timber-framing with brick and stone coming in with improvements in transport. Besides the medieval St Katherine’s church, a mansion called The Courts and the industrial buildings of the Midlands are notable.


> Explore Holt

> The Holt Spa

> Holt Junction Station

> Old photographs of Holt

> J. & T. Beaven leather and glove factories

> map of Holt in 1841

> Holt Football Club

> Holt objects in the Museum collection

Holt Wiltshire history

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