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
AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.
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.