Noake's Worcestershire Page 205


the exception of Sir John Pakington) for compounding for his estate than any other man in Worcestershire—namely, £4,000. There were twenty-six families in the parish in the time of Elizabeth; the population now numbers about 300, besides upwards of 200 in Little Witley chapelry; acreage, 2,911; chief produce, wheat, barley, swedes, and seeds; employment of inhabitants, entirely agricultural. Rev. C. J. Sale is the rector; value of living, £579; Earl Dudley patron; church accommodation, 100; free seats, 48. Little Witley chapel, recently restored, has ninety sittings, thirty of which are free.

There is a comfortable hostelry, called "Holt Fleet," adjoining the Severn, and there had been from time immemorial a ferry over the river at that point, till in 1826 Lord Foley laid the foundation stone of the present handsome bridge, which was opened in 1828. The "Holt Fleet" tea gardens and the pleasant heights in close proximity thereto are uppermost in the recollections of the Worcester river parties - anglers and boating men.

Among the old names in the parish are Yell Coppice, Battle Well Hopyard, The Baides, Turpin Field, Hurry's Oak, and Quinton. There are many legends of "The Haunted Castle and Lane" at Holt, and of a Lady Beauchamp who occasionally takes possession of the Castle attics, larder, and even the cellar.


A NEIGHBOURING parish to Himbleton, but of much smaller extent, embracing but 941 acres and a population of 87. The Earl of Shrewsbury is the patron of the living and principal landowner. The De Hodingtons held the parish from an early period till the reign of Henry V, when the Winters inherited it by marriage. Their Court-