HOLT is a neat market town, pleasantly situated on rising ground at the junction of several public roads and on the Eastern and Midlands Railway (now constructing), 21 miles N.N.W. of Norwich, 12 miles N.W. by N. of Aylsham, 18 miles N. by E. of East Dereham, 4 miles S.S.E. of Blakeney and Cley, 10 miles W. by S. of Cromer, and 119 miles N.E. by N. of London. It is in Erpingham union, Norwich bankruptcy district, Norwich archdeaconry, and is the head and gives name to a hundred, a petty sessional division, a rural deanery, and a county court district. It has much improved of late years, and its population increased from 1004 in 1801 to 1535 in 1881; the area is 2991A.
The rateable value is £6430 12s. 6d., and the gross estimated rental, £7244 15s. The parish is generally fertile and arable, but has some ancient woods and several extensive plantations upon the heath, which was enclosed by an Act passed in 1807, when 120A. were allotted to supply those parishioners with fuel who do not rent above £10 a year. The soil belongs to a number of proprietors, the largest of whom are the lords of the four manors: viz. Holt, Holt Market, and Holt Hales, belonging to the trustees of the late Hudson Gurney, Esq.; and Holt-Pereers, of which the Fishmongers' Company, in London, are owners, as trustees of the Grammar School. The two first are subject to arbitrary fines on admission, and the others to certain fines. Robert Cooper, Esq., of Norwich, is steward for Mr. Gurney's manors; and S. Cozens-Hardy, Esq., of Norwich, is steward for Holt-Pereers. A court leet is held on or about St. Thomas's day for the former. The other principal landowners are the Marquis of Lothian, John Rogers, George Barker, and W.H. Cozens-Hardy, Esqs.
From its high situation the town of Holt is remarkably salubrious. The Market Place and High Street contain many spacious and well-stocked shops, and the streets are well paved and are lighted with gas. In the vicinity are numerous thriving plantations and several handsome seats, amongst which may be mentioned the Grove, the Lodge, occupied by J.A. Hardcastle, Esq., M.P. for Bury St. Edmunds, the Woodlands, and the Hall, a large red brick mansion in the Tudor style, enlarged and improved in 1864 by its present owner and occupier, John Rogers, Esq., J.P.
Gas works were erected in 1841 by the late Mr. John Randall, and now belong to the Holt Gas Company (Limited), who charge at the rate of 6s. per 1000 cubic feet.
On May day, 1708, a great part of the town was destroyed by an accidental fire, which burnt with such fury 'that the butchers could not save the meat on their stalls.'
On Spout Common, on the south-west side of the town, a copious spring issues out of the gravel hill, and affords an ample supply of pure soft water, which is carried in carts to the town, where there are also three public pumps. The spring head is walled round, and is visited by many as a natural curiosity, and for the purpose of enjoying the fine prospect which it commands over the romantic valley of the Glaven.
The Market, held every Wednesday, is well supplied with corn, &c.; and here are two annual stock fairs, on April 25 and November 25. The Corn Hall is a brick and flint building, originally erected for a Baptist chapel, but converted to its present use in 1857. Petty sessions are held on the fourth Saturday in every month at the Shire Hall, where Quarter sessions were formerly held. The division comprises the parishes named on pages 34 and 35. [This is the section about Petty Sessional Divisions]. The magistrates are W.H. Cozens-Hardy, Esq., E.B. Sparke, Esq., J. Rogers, Esq., Rev. T.J.G. Marsham, J.A. Hardcastle, Esq., M.P., and C.W.H.C. Hardy, Esq. H.S. Ransom, Esq., is clerk to the magistrates.
The Police Station, on Hempstead Road, is a brick edifice, erected in 1855, and containing two cells and residences for the inspector and one constable. The County Court is also held every alternate month for a district, comprising the parishes enumerated on pages 40 and 41. [This is the section about County Courts]. E. Plumer Price, Esq., Q.C., is judge; G. Wilkinson, Esq., registrar and high bailiff; and William Groom, assistant bailiff.
The CHURCH (St. Andrew) is an ancient structure in the Early English style, comprising nave with aisles and clerestory, south porch (used as a vestry), chancel, and square tower containing one bell and a clock. It was thoroughly restored in 1864, and fitted with new open seats, but there is still an old gallery in the north aisle. A new organ, built by Bryceson of London, was placed in a new organ chamber in 1882, at a cost of £500, raised by subscription. Many of the windows are enriched with beautiful stained glass, several of them at the expense of John Hales, Esq.; the east window, by the widow and friends, was inserted to the memory of the late Rev. Humphrey Jackson. The sedilia and piscina still remain in the chancel, and there is another piscina in the south aisle.
The communion plate includes a flagon, the gift of 'George, Prince of Wales'; a silver alms dish, given by Lord Townshend; another alms dish, the donor being Robert Walpole; a silver cup, the gift of Dr. Briggs, a former rector, and chaplain in ordinary to George III. There are no dates upon these pieces, but the plate marks indicate the period between 1718-1725. Here are tablets of the Holmes, Hobart, Butler, Briggs and other families.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £11 17s. 3½d., is in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge, and incumbency of the Rev. Edward Brumell, B.D., who is also rural dean. There are 57A. of glebe and a handsome rectory house, with pleasant grounds, commanding picturesque views. The tithes were commuted in 1839 for £585 per annum.
The Methodist Free Church, at the end of High Street, is an ornamental brick and flint building in the Early English style, erected in 1863 at a cost of £2000, and comprises a nave with aisles and clerestory, and a bell turret at the north-west angle. The Rev. John Wesley Worth is the minister. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists also have chapels here, the latter built in 1872.
The FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL is an imposing pile of red brick in the Elizabethan style, comprising a commodious and elegant schoolroom, 60 feet long, a class-room, and a house for the master. It was erected at a cost of more than £3000, in 1858, in lieu of the old manor house of Holt Pereers, which was converted into a school, in 1554, by Sir J. Gresham, Kt., a native of Holt and an alderman and citizen of London. Sir J. Gresham endowed it with this manor and the Prior's Grove, and vested the management in the Fishmongers' Company for the education of 50 free scholars, to be chosen by them from the town of Holt and its neighbourhood, and instructed by a master and usher in reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, and the Latin, Greek, French, and German languages, free of charge. Attached to the school is an extensive playground, &c.
The endowment, which produced about £500 per annum, has considerably increased in amount. The master has a yearly salary of £350, and is allowed to take boarders. The second master, J.H. Howell, Esq., M.A., has a salary of £150 per annum. Books at one-third of the cost price, and stationery are provided out of the funds for the use of the scholars. There is an exhibition of £20 for four years to any University in the United Kingdom. B.C. Brough, Esq., is writing and English master. The Rev. R.J. Roberts, M.A., is the present head master. The Fishmongers' Company are governors of the school, and appoint visitors to inspect it. The governors grant additional exhibitions to deserving pupils on the recommendation of the master and visitors.
The NATIONAL SCHOOL was established in 1835, and the present building was built in 1843. It is attended by about 100 boys and girls, and 60 infants. A SCHOOL BOARD for the united district of Holt and Letheringsett was established in December 1877, and consists of W.H. Cozens-Hardy, Esq., J.P. (chairman), William Leggatt (vice-chairman), John Rogers, Esq., J.P., Rev. E. Brumell, B.D., and Mr. J.E. Jones. Mr. James Simmons is their clerk. The Board School use what was formerly the British School, in Withers Street, a neat flint building with red brick dressings, built by W.H. Cozens-Hardy, Esq., J.P., in 1851, at a cost of £600. It is attended by about 200 children.
The poor have four yearly rent-charges: viz. £2 10s., left by Blanche Schuldham, in 1738, for fortnightly doles of bread; 10s., left by Stephen Feake, in 1661; and two of 20s., left by Mr. Fitt and an unknown donor. For distributions of bread they have the interest of £178, left by the Rev. Joshua Smith in 1828; also the interest of £200, left by Wallace Mallett in 1852.
The Literary Society, in Withers Street, was established in 1854, and has upwards of 100 members, and a well-supplied newsroom and a good library of more than 3000 volumes. Mr. William Leggatt is librarian. Holt horticultural show is held annually. The Holt rifle corps comprises about 45 men, and was established in 1861. Rev. Charles Norris, Briston, is captain, and George Fisher, sergeant-instructor. Here are several friendly and benefit societies and lodges of Oddfellows and Foresters. The Working Men's Club and Coffee Rooms are at the Shire Hall, and were established in 1877. Here is also a fire engine station. Mr. William Randall is superintendent. In the town is a Nurses' Home.
Alice Pereers, of the family which formerly held Holt-Pereers manor, was the mistress of Edward III., who, in 1374, granted her all the jewels of Philippa, his late queen, to whom she had been maid of honour. After the death of Edward she was attainted, and her estates and goods forfeited; but on her marriage with Sir William de Wyndesore in 1380, Richard II. restored to her various manors and lands.
William Withers, Esq., of Holt, who died in 1848, was author of 'A Memoir addressed to the Society of Arts on the planting and rearing of Forest Trees, demonstrating the necessity of Trenching,' &c. For this production he received a silver medal. He afterwards published letters on the same subject to Sir Walter Scott and Sir H. Stuart, and a work on the acacia-tree. John Holmes, who was thirty years master of the Grammar School, died in 1760. He was author of 'A New Grammar of the Latin Tongue,' 'A Greek Grammar,' and several other elementary works. Thomas Girdlestone, M.D., was born here in 1758, and died in 1820, after acquiring a high reputation as a physician at Yarmouth, where he spent the last twenty years of his life.
POST OFFICE at Mr. S.C. Clare's, High Street. Letters arrive at 6.15 a.m., and are despatched at 5.45 p.m., by mail cart to East Dereham. This is also a Money Order Office, Savings Bank, and Telegraph Office.
AINGER Mrs Mary grocer, High street AUSTIN Robert fish dealer and greengrocer, Bull street BAKER Charles Thomas ironmonger, iron merchant, iron & tinplate worker, brazier & bellhanger, agricultural implement agent, oil & colourman, kitchen range, gas, hot water, pump worker & plumber, gunsmith, ammunition and fishing-tackle dealer, &c. Market place; and brick, tile, sanitary pipe and tube merchant; agent for the Norwich Union Fire and Norwich Union Life Insurance Cos.; the Norfolk Farmers' Cattle, the General Hailstorm, the Accident, the Norwich & London Accident and Casualty and Plate-Glass Insurance Cos.; h The Acacias, Hempstead road BAKER John Sales grocer and draper, Chapel street BAKER William Custance brewer & wine & spirit merchant, High street BALDRY Mrs Cecilia Ann baker & confectnr. Shirehall plain BARNINGHAM James market gardener, Grove lane BARNINGHAM Thos. yeast & marine store dlr. Market place BARNEY Miss Sophia National schoolmistress, Norwich rd BARNEY Samuel shoemaker and vict. Star Inn, Fish hill BASHAM Luke saddler, High street BATTRICK James coach builder, Withers st.; h Thornage BERESFORD Mr Henry Moore Shirehall plain BERESFORD John hay dealer & market gardener, Withers st BERESFORD William coach painter and trimmer and parish clerk, White Lion street BIRD George corn miller; h Beckham hall BLADE William butcher, Bull street BOND Henry photographer, Letheringsett road BONE Henry glass, china, &c. dealer, Shirehall plain BOWLES Robert grocer and draper, High street BROUGH Bertram C. third master, Grammar school BROWNSELL Mrs Harriet Shirehall plain BRUMELL Rev. Edward, B.D. rector and rural dean, Rectory BUCK James foreman, Chancery buildings BUDDEN William Herbert railway contractor, Obelisk plain BULL Mrs Annie The Shrublands, Hempstead road BURRELL Mrs Ann Elizabeth dressmaker, Shirehall plain BURRELL Edward Elden basket mkr. & cooper, High street BURRELL Mr John Holmes Shirehall plain BURRELL Wm. H. painter, plumber & paperhanger, High st BUTCHARD Hy. Newton National schoolmaster, Withers st CANNEL Palmer F. horse trainer & vict. New Inn, Market pl CASE Cubitt pork butcher, Fish hill CATON Joshua inspector of police, City Police Station, Hempstead road CHASTNEY Miss Ann Shirehall plain CHASTNEY William cooper, Cornhall street CLARE Samuel C. hatter, tobacconist & postmstr. High st COLMAN Rev. Joseph Cromer road (U.M.F.C.) COOKE Henry carrier, cowkeeper, farmer, horse and trap letter, King's Head; h Cley-next-the-Sea COOKE Thomas chemists, Market place (Executors of) COOPER Edwin Carter wine & spirit merchant, & mineral water & horehound [sic] beer mfr. High st. & East Dereham COOPER Mrs Hannah Cromer road COOPER Wilson joiner, &c. Cromer road CRASKE Samuel chemist, wine and spirit agent, and agent for Crown Insurance Co. High street CROWE Richard carrier, Shirehall plain DACK Charles bird and animal preserver and Blunderfield tobacconist, Market place DADE Mrs Harriet pork butcher, Bull street DADY Henry miller's manager, Cornhall street DADY William surgeon's assistant, Cornhall street DENNIS James horse, cab and carriage proprietor, and earthenware dealer, Bull street DIGGENS Isaac butcher, Norwich road DOUGHTY Henry shoemaker, Hempstead road DOY James gas foreman, Spout hill DUSGATE William baker and confectioner, Fish hill and Market place EARL Geo. farmer, horse dlr. & vict. Feathers Hotel (posting), & agent for the G.E.R. parcels receiving office, Market pl EDWARDS Zacchariah chimney sweeper, Norwich road EDWARDS Mrs Maria dressmaker, Withers street ELLIS John Dennis farmer, Norwich road ENGLAND Thomas Waller farmer, Pippin's heath FALLER John watchmaker, High street FIRMAGE George shoemaker, High street FRY Thomas ironmonger's clerk, Bull street FULLER Mr Cooke East grove, Cromer road FUNNELL Richard bank agent, High street GIBSON Jph. Jno. outfitr. High st. & at Aylsham, & Reepham GOOCH James King, and shoeing forge, Market place M.R.C.V.S.L. GOULD Mrs Mary Ann Shirehall plain GRAND Charles grocer and draper, Fish hill GRAND William shoemaker and shopkeeper, Market place GURNEY & Co. bankers, High street; R. FUNNELL, agent GROOM William sub-county court bailiff, Cromer road HALES John, surgeon, poor law medical officer for M.R.C.S., Holt & Briston district, The Lawn, L.S.A. Norwich rd. HALES Robert Turner, medical officer Beckham district, & West M.D., M.R.C.S., Beckham Workhouse, Erpingham union, L.S.A. and public vaccinating officer, The Lawn, Norwich road HARDCASTLE Joseph Alfred, (for the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk Esq., M.P., J.P. and Essex), The Lodge; and 54 Queensgate terrace, London, S.W. HARE Miss Kate Board schoolmistress, Withers st Elizabeth HARRIS Frederick William miller, Hempstead road HERRING Mrs Lucy matron, Nurses' Home, Fish hill HORNE William shoemaker, Withers st.; h Obelisk plain HOWELL John Henry, M.A. second master, Grammar school, Church house HUDSON George solicitor's clerk, Withers street HUTCHENS Fras. Thos. Board school master, Withers street IVES George butcher, Market place IVES James farmer, Cley road JACKSON Miss Martha Cromer road JACOB George tinner, brazier, & ironmonger, High street JACOB William painter, Withers street JERMY Edward vict. Bull, Bull street JEX Charles greengrocer, Bull street JORDAN Miss Sarah Ann boarding school, Ben Ha house, Hempstead road KEYMER James millwright, Withers street KING Mrs Rosa Berlin wool & fancy repository, Market pl KNOWLES Chas. John tailor, hairdresser, & general dealer, and school attendance officer, Market place LAKE Fredk. solicitor's clerk, secretary to the Alexander Lodge M.U.I.O.O.F. No. 3443, and correspondent for Holt district, Cornhall street LARNER George grocer and draper, and agent for the Atlas Insurance Co. silk mercer, milliner, &c. Market place LEE Alfred tea dealer, Cromer road LEGGATT John victualler, Angel Inn, Bull street LEGGATT William victualler, White Lion Commercial Inn, brewer, maltster, auctioneer, valuer, house, land, & estate agent, brick & tile maker, agent for the Guardian Ins. Co. secretary to Gas Co. limited, & librarian to Literary Institute, White Lion street LEWIS Mrs Charles Hempstead road LEWIS Charles assistant librarian, Withers street LEWIS Charles jun. shopkeeper, Hempstead road LOVE Mr John Cromer road LOYNES Mrs Elizabeth Obelisk plain LOYNES Robert blacksmith, Obelisk plain MASON Bartholomew police constable, Hempstead road MILLETT Henry Michell, resident engineer (Eastern & Midlands C.E. Railway), The Grove MOBBS Mr John Obelisk plain MOORE William gardener, Fish hill NEWTON Mrs Sarah Withers street NICHOLS John James relieving officer, registrar of births & deaths & vaccination officer, High street NICHOLS Thomas James hairdresser & tailor, Market place OUTLAW James vict. King's Head Inn, High street PALMER John Herbert stonemason, Obelisk plain PARDON Robert cart owner, coal dealer, & water carrier, Cornhall street PARFITT Edwin Richards brewer, wine and spirit merchant, ale and porter bottler, corn dealer, &c. Bull street PASHLEY William painter, paper hanger, plumber, glazier, &c. and registrar of marriages, Withers street PAYNE Alfred coach builder (Vince & P.); h Shirehall pln PAYNE William sexton PILCH Richard tailor and draper, Market place PLAYFORD Robert Jones bookslr, stationer, binder, printer, newsagent, paper-hanging dealer, & fancy repository, & agent for the Sun Insurance Co. High street PERRETT Mrs Elizabeth Withers street POTTER Henry poultry dealer, Grove lane PRESTON Arthur printer, professor and teacher of music, organist parish church, and bandmaster 3rd Norfolk R.V.C. High street PRESTON Thomas Berlin wool & fancy repository, assistant overseer and rate collector, Market place; and farmer, Pippins heath PRESTON William bookseller, stationer, & newsagt. paper-hanging dealer, and fancy repository, teacher of music, farmer and surveyor of highways and stamp distributor, High street PUXLEY Thomas hay dealer, Shirehall plain RAINSFORD Henry inland revenue officer, Withers street RANDALL William watchmkr. gunsmith, bellhngr. plumber, gasfitter, &c., engineer, optician, and superintendent of fire engine, Withers street RANSOM Henry Starling solicitor, com. in all courts, clerk to commissioners of taxes, clerk to magistrates, agent for Edinburgh Life, Law Union, & the Norwich Equitable Insurance Co., High street RANSOM Horatio tailor and outfitter, Market place RANSOM Miss Jane milliner, Market place RANSOM William bootmaker, Market place READ Isaac market gardener, Withers street REEVE John watchmaker, High street RICHMOND Joseph tailor, High street RISEBOROUGH James corn dealer and greengrocer, Fish hill ROBERTS Rev. Reginald head master Grammar school Jolliffe, M.A. ROGERS John, Esq., (for Norfolk and Lincolnshire), M.A., J.P. barrister-at-law, Holt hall ROGERS John Henry Holt hall Burcham, Esq. RUDKIN Mr William Allen Market place RUST Misses ladies' school, High street SANTSCHI Carl foreign master, Grammar school SEARLES Mrs Betsy stone mason, Obelisk plain SEARLES Miss Frances new and second hand clothes dealer, Jane Church street SEARLES Mrs Sabra Church street SEXTON Mrs Obelisk plain SIDLE Robert John solicitor's clerk, Norwich road SKRIMSHIRE John Truscott, medical officer to Blakeney district M.D., M.R.C.S., of Walsingham union, and public L.S.A. vaccinator, Wansbeck house, White Lion street SLANN, Thomas Holloway solicitor (Wilkinson & S.); h Attleborough SPALL Miss Fanny Cromer road STIMPSON James farmer, Heath farm TAYLOR James Brockwell tailor, Weston square TUCK Miss Marion milliner and dressmaker, Withers st TUCK Mrs Sarah Ann victualler, Queen Adelaide Inn, Withers street TUCK Mrs Susan fishmonger, Shirehall plain TURNER Miss Hannah Jane boarding school, Withers street TURNER Isaac blacksmith and cartowner, Chapel street VINCE Alfred coach builder (V. & Payne); h Cromer road VINCE coach builders, Cromer road & PAYNE WADE Miss Elizabeth dressmaker, High street WALLER John & Son bakers, Withers street WALLER John Benjamin baker (John & Son); h Withers street WARD Henry fish dealer, greengrocer, and shoemaker, Bull street WATTS James cutler and umbrella maker, High street WEST George Robert railway timekeeper, Cromer road WESTON James beerhouse and builder, Shirehall plain WILKINSON George (W. & Slann), com. in all courts, and for taking acknowledgements of deeds, registrar of county court, and conservative registration agent for the polling districts of Holt, Aylsham, Cromer, and Aldborough; h Heath house, Norwich road WILKINSON solicitors, and agents for the Phnix & SLANN Fire, the Liverpool, London, and Globe, and the Royal Farmers' Hailstorm, &c., Insurance Cos., Church street, and Attleborough WILLIAMS Mrs Rebecca currier, leather seller, earthenware & general dealer, agent for the Scottish Union Insurance Co., and Temperance Provident Building Society, and the Religious Tract Depôt, High street WILLIAMS William bootmaker, High street WILSON James & Peter saddlers, High street WILSON Mrs Emily Cromer road WINKLEY Miss Elizabeth Cornhall street WITHERS Mrs Eliza confectioner and lodgings, Church st WORTH Rev. John Wesley Hill house (U.M.F.C.)In the original, the following entries are placed alphabetically in the list above.
See also the Holt parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.