Holt public houses


The village of Holt, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire has had a good number of pubs and a brewery, due probably to the industry and farms here and the turnpike road that passed through. Public houses are  reduced to only two today.


tollhouse and Bell Inn, Holt

Entering from the west, from Bradford, the toll house for the turnpike road was in the line of cottages on the left (Ham Terrace). The building at the far end, now number 62 and called Ham House,  was The Bell public house, which was run by members of the Cooper family from at least 1773 until the middle of the 19th century; Ambrose Cooper was keeping the inn in 1841.

Toll Gate Inn, Holt

Opposite the Bell, on the corner of the lane from Staverton Bridge, was The White Hart. After a thorough refurbishment in around 1980, it was renamed The Toll Gate (now contracted to Tollgate). It incorporates on its left a building with external stairs to the first floor, which may have been the village assembly room.

Old Ham Tree pub, Holt

Facing the triangular green called the Ham was The New Inn. It was probably new in 1774, but had been renamed The Old Ham Tree by the time of the First World War, taking its name from an enormous elm tree that grew on Ham Green. It is built of brick and seems to have been originally two buildings. The left side, entered by a double flight of steps, has a blocked up carriage gateway. The fine late 18th century house to the far left, Marlborough House, is said have been part of the inn until the 1930s.

Three Lions, Holt

The Three Lions pub closed as recently as the 1980s and has now been divided into separate homes. A record of 1755 refers to William Mole at the Three Lions 50 years before then. The old part, with its gable end to the street, bears the carved sign which may refer to the arms of the de Lisle family who once held the manor. The other part seems to be of the early 19th century.

The Common, Holt

On the edge of what was once The Common, next to the turnpike road, was a pub called The Green Dragon, which was mentioned in 1822, but does not seem to have survived beyond 1850, despite the trade that must have come into the village on the road from Melksham. It may have been one of the two old buildings in the photograph, which were set back on the old edge of the common, or perhaps one of the cottages in the rank to the right.

Another pub recorded in Holt was The Chequers, which belonged to James Burton, as lord of the manor, in 1774.