Noake's Worcestershire Page 204

204 HOLT.

Holt.

MIDWAY between Worcester and Stourport is the very pleasant village of Holt, with its church and castle looking down on the Severn from a considerable height. Earl Dudley is lord of the manor, and owns the entire parish with the exception of about eight acres. The castle is supposed to have been built in Norman times by one of the D'Abitots, but nothing now remains of it save the tower and portions of embattled walls, which are of much later date. The house to which these relics are attached was built by Sir Thomas Bromley, with later additions. In the garden is a noble terrace above the river, commanding charming views of the surrounding country. Mr. F. Munn now resides here. The church is under the shadow of the castle; it is principally of Norman construction, except the south aisle and east wall. There is much here to interest the visitor - rich Norman arches and doorways, curiously carved capitals, a hagioscope, the finest Norman font in the county, monumental remains, old stained glass, encaustic tiles, and so forth. The church was restored in 1858, at a cost of 800. In the churchyard lies the old Countess of Coventry, who died in 1798, at the age of ninety-six. She was famous for contesting a jointure left her by her husband, but which was resisted by the heir. The good lady married again after being a widow no less than thirty-three years, and survived her second husband!

The castle and manor successively passed into the possession of the Warwick, Beanchamp, Wysham, Bromley, Foley, and Dudley families. The Bromleys were men of great account in Worcestershire; and Henry Bromley, who resided at the castle during the civil wars, paid a larger sum (with