Holt is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire. Little Witley is a chapelry of Holt.

Other places in the parish include: Holt Heath.

Alternative names: Holt-Castle

Parish church: St. Martin

Parish registers begin: 1538

Nonconformists include:

Parishes adjacent to Holt

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

HOLT, a village, a parish, and a sub-district in Martley district, Worcestershire. The village stands on the river Severn, 3 miles NW of Fearnall-Heath r. station, and 5½ NNW of Worcester; and has a post office under Worcester. The parish includes also Holt-Heath hamlet, and Little Witley chapelry; and comprises 2,911 acres. Real property, £4,764. Pop., 503. Houses, 110. The property is divided among a few. The manor and nearly all the land belong to Earl Dudley. Holt Castle is a fine ancient baronial mansion, with lofty embattled tower; was formerly the seat of the Warwicks, the Beauchamps, the Bromleys, and the Foleys; and is now occupied by a farmer. A piece of Roman pavement, 3 feet by 2, was found here in 1848. The living is a rectory, united with the p. curacy of Little Witley, in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £579. Patron, Earl Dudley. The church is Norman; was recently restored; consists of nave, S aisle, and chancel, with a low tower; and contains a few ancient monuments. There are a national school, and charities £16. The sub-district excludes Little Witley chapelry, but includes five other parishes, and an extra-parochial tract. Acres, 13,997. Pop., 3,509. Houses, 763.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Holt, or Holt-Castle, a parish in Oswaldslow hund., union of Martley, Worcestershire; 5½ miles north-north-west of Worcester, on the banks of the Severn. It includes the chapelry of Little Witley. Living, a rectory, with the curacy of Little Witley. in the archd. and dio. of Worcester; rated at £15 17s. 8½d.; gross income £600. Tithes commuted in 1839; aggregate amount £537 13s. 4d. rectorial. Patron, in 1835, Lord Foley. The church presents an excellent specimen of Saxon architecture. Here is a daily school. In 1835, 57 acres of hops were cultivated in this parish. The ruins of Holt-castle, formerly belonging to the Beauchamps, are still visible. Acres 2,930. Houses 122. A. P. £4,342. Pop., in 1801, 562; in 1831, 635. Poor rates, in 1838, £241 19s.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

HOLT (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 6 miles (N. N. W.) from Worcester; containing, with the chapelry of Little Witley, 557 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity. A castle was built here by Urso d’Abitot in the reign of William the Conqueror, which was rebuilt by Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and for some time continued to be the residence of the family; in the time of Elizabeth, it was bought by Sir Thomas Bromley, lord chancellor of England, by whom it was sold to the Foley family. The estate is now, by purchase, the property of Lord Ward, and the castle is occupied by a farmer. The parish is bounded on the north-east by the river Severn, over which is a bridge of five arches, 266 feet in length: the central arch is of iron, and has a span of 150 feet at an elevation of 35 feet above the low-water mark; the other arches are of stone. The extent of the parish is 2907a. 3r. 21p., of which 1912a. 3r. 21p. are in Holt; of the whole, two-thirds are arable, and the remainder pasture. Stone of good quality for building is quarried to a considerable extent. The roads from Worcester to Stourport and from Ludlow to Droitwich cross each other at the village; and the Severn also affords facility of conveyance. The living is a rectory, with the chapelry annexed, valued in the king’s books at £15. 17. 8½., and in the patronage of Lord Ward: the tithes have been commuted for £570, and the glebe comprises 46 acres, with a house. The church is an ancient structure, of the early Norman style in the nave, with a tower and chancel of far more recent date; the font has some grotesque ornaments.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Holt – a parish in the hundred of Oswaldslow, lower division, 6 miles N.N.W. from Worcester, and 117 from London; containing 64 inhabited houses. The church is a fine specimen of Saxon architecture, and is a rectory, with Little-Witley chapel annexed; Rev. John Foley, incumbent; instituted 1811; patron, Lord Foley. Population, 1801, 327 – 1811, 327 – 1821, 355.
Holt-Castle, in the above parish, stands on the western bank of the river Severn, and was rebuilt in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Robert Walsh, then Lord Chancellor, on the foundations of an old castle, erected by the Beauchamps, to whom it came by descent from Urso D’Abitot, the first hereditary sheriff of Worcester. It is now the property of Lord Foley, and in the occupation of Mr. Chillingworth, a respectable farmer.

Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.

Universal British Directory 1791

Holt is six miles from Worcester, on the Ludlow road. Here stands the ancient fabric of Holt-castle, late the residence of the Countess-dowager of Coventry; near which is Holt Fleet-passage, over the river Severn. The church is dedicated to St. Martin, and is one of the completest remains of the ancient Saxon architecture.

Source: Universal British Directory 1791


Lascelles & Co.’s Directory and Gazetteer of the City of Worcester & Neighbourhood 1851

Holt With Little Witley Littlebury’s Directory 1879

Holt is a very picturesque parish and village, standing on high ground, overlooking the Severn valley, 6½ miles N. of Worcester, 2 S.W. of Ombersley, 6 W. of Droitwich, and 6½ S. of Stourport; is in the western division of the county and hundred of Lower Oswaldslow; in the union and highway district of Martley; petty sessional division and county court district of Worcester; polling district of St. John’s; annual rateable value, £3,321; area of civil parish, 1,951 acres; population in 1861, 295; in 1871, 284, with 59 inhabited houses and 63 families or separate occupiers. The Earl of Dudley is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is loamy and gravely, producing wheat, barley, roots, &c. The Worcester and Tenbury road passes through the parish. Holt is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Worcester West; living, a rectory, with the chapelry of Little Witley annexed; value £584, with residence and 47 acres of glebe; patron, the Earl of Dudley; rector, Rev. Charles John Sale, M.A., Lincoln College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1847. The church is dedicated to St. Martin, and consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, and tower containing four bells; is principally of Norman work, except the south aisle and east wall. It was restored in 1858 at a cost of £800. There is much here to interest the visitor – rich Norman arches and doorways, curiously carved capital, a hagioscope, the finest Norman font in the county, monumental remains, old stained-glass, &c. The earliest register is dated 1538. There is a national school in the village of Holt. The charities belonging to the parish amount to about £16 yearly. Holt Castle is situate high on the west bank of the Severn, near the church. It is supposed to have been built in Norman times by one of the D’Abitots, but nothing now remains of it except the tower and portions of the embattled walls, which are of much later date. It was in succession a seat of the Warwick, Beauchamp, Wysham, Bromley, and Foley families, but is now the property of the Earl of Dudley, and his lordship’s agent James Best, Esq., resides there. There is a handsome iron bridge over the Severn at Holt fleet, where is also a comfortable inn with tea gardens, much frequented during the summer months by river parties. The pleasant heights adjoining afford some of the best views of the Severn. Little Witley, a chapelry, 2 miles W., contained in 1861 a population of 208; in 1871, 202, with 42 inhabited houses and 57 families or separate occupiers. It comprises an area of 960 acres; annual rateable value, £1,795. The chapel-of-ease is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and contains about 90 sittings. It is in the Early English style, and consists chancel, nave, and south porch, with an open bell-turret. It was restored in 1867. A new school has been recently erected here.
Postal Regulation. – Post Office, Holt heath; Mrs. Ann George, Sub-Postmistress. Letters arrive from Worcester about 9.30 a.m.; despatched thereto at 3.30 p.m. There is no delivery on Sundays. Ombersley is the nearest money-order office. Worcester is the telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Martin’s). – Rev. Charles John Sale, M.A., Rector; Mr. Edward Dorrell, Churchwarden; Henry Hankins, Parish Clerk.
Holy Trinity Chapel-of-Ease, Little Witley.
Holt National School (boys and girls). – Miss Mary Lucas, mistress.
Little Witley National School (boys and girls). – Mrs. Mary Bull, Mistress.


Best James, Esq., Holt Castle
Sale Rev. Chas. John, M.A., J.P. (rector of Holt, with Little Witley), The Rectory


Ashmore Benjamin, farmer and threshing-machine proprietor
Best James, agent to the Right Hon. the Earl of Dudley, Holt castle
Bishop Wm., frmr., Well frm., Lit. Witley
Bull Mrs. M., schoolmistress, Lit. Witley
Bullock James, fmr., Wood fm., Ockridge
Dorrell Edward, farmer, Naunton farm
Dorrell Thomas, farmer & miller, Bentley and Hollingshead farms and Holt mill
Evans Wm., Thos., Red Lion Inn, & farmer
Footman John, shoemaker, Little Witley
George Mrs. A., blksmith. & sub-postmstrs.
Goodwin Mrs. Susan, shopkeeper
Greaves Geo., fmr., Bank fm., Lit. Witley
Hammond Mrs. E., plumber, painter, &c.
Hankins Henry, shoemaker & parish clerk
Hill Peter, wheelwright
Hundley Henry, Holt Fleet Inn, Holt fleet
Lucas Miss Mary, schoolmistress, Holt
Mytton Edward, farmer, Little Witley
Powick Samuel, farmer, The Rew farm
Southall John, farmer, Little Witley
Wall Mrs. Sarah Jane, baker, grocer, and provision dlr., Green Hill ho., Lit. Witley
Walsh James, tailor
White Alfred J., farmer, Little Witley
Wilson Hy., market gardener & shopkpr.
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.

Holt Lewis Worcestershire Directory 1820

Holt, 5 miles from Worcester, containing 56 houses, and 327 inhabitants. The church is one of the most complete remains of Saxon architecture at this time extant, to which Whitley chapel is annexed.
Chillingworth Henry, esq. Holt Castle
Cowell Daniel, farmer
Evans Thomas, vict.
Flellow1 James, farmer
Foley Rev. Mr.
Ford John, farmer
Ford William, farmer
Ford Benj., farmer
Goodwin John, farmer
Goodwin Samuel, farmer
Haywood Charles, farmer
James – , farmer
Mills John, farmer
Pardoe Jeffrey, farmer
Roberts James, farmer
Tombs – , farmer
Source: S Lewis Worcestershire General and Commercial Directory for 1820.
The name Flellow is how it is spelt in the directory.


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Ford William, Holt, Worcestershire, farmer, May 22, 1821.
Goodwin John, Holt, Worcestershire, miller, May 24, 1825.


  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Martley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Worcester
  • Poor Law Union: Martley
  • Hundred: Oswaldslow
  • Province: Canterbury

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