Holt Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are major building remains

NameHolt Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWorcestershire
Modern AuthorityWorcestershire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishHolt

Fortified house. C14 tower; rest of original fortified structure rebuilt C15, altered in C16, remodelled early C18, further additions and alterations mid-C19. Coursed sandstone rubble, sandstone ashlar, tiled roofs, partly 2-span having gable end parapets, partly hipped, all behind embattled parapet; large external sandstone chimney at front right with 3 diagonal brick shafts and oversailing cap courses; additional large brick stacks in valley behind front ridge. Square tower; main building adjoins east elevation, its rectangular plan incorporating an L-shaped fragment of C15 building in form of large hall to front of south end and a solar wing, now at the centre of the house, which projected eastwards and is expressed in the gable which interrupts the embattled parapet in the east elevation; originally it also had a west gable too. During the C16 the hall and solar were floored and fireplaces built. Probably once a south service wing which was demolished when the south wall of the hall was rebuilt in c1700, and the plan was squared up by the addition of a hipped wing, east of the hall block in the angle with the solar, containing a staircase and drawing room. The entire structure was refaced at this time and the interior was remodelled. During the mid-C19 two wings were built onto the north wall of the solar portion, matching the early C18 refacing; a further extension was added to the gable end of the easternmost wing, shorter in length and of lower height. Tower: 4 stages. Walls are 4 feet thick at base. West elevation has a pointed arched doorway with double planked doors, and each of the three stages above has a pointed arched window with 2 cusped ogee- headed lights and a quatrefoil light above; there is a small rectangular stair- light on the second stage

The north elevation has a pointed arched planked door, and a pointed arched window with a single cusped ogee-headed light on the second and fourth stages, and 3 rectangular stairlights down the right side. The south elevation has 3 narrow loopholes to its lower stage and a window to the second and fourth stage similar to those on the north elevation with 2 stairlights at the far left side. The east elevation has a blocked window. Above the fourth stage is a string course, with grotesque heads at the corners, beneath an embattled parapet. Main building: 2 storeys, attic with hipped dormers and cellar; string course beneath embattled parapet and between main storeys to south and east elevations. West front elevation: to left of projecting tower fenestration is regular, having paired 18-pane sashes with central splayed mullions, 3 pairs at ground floor and 4 pairs at first floor level, and a pointed arched doorway with planked door and arched plain fanlight beneath the third pair on the first floor; at the far right is a hipped dormer with casement window. To right of tower is the large external sandstone stack, flanked at first floor level by paired 18-pane sashes. East garden elevation Irregular fenestration; right of centre gable end of former solar breaks forward having ground and first floor multi-paned sashes with side lights, a long C16 4-light mullioned window in the gable with a small light above in apex. On left side at south end are 2 large multi-paned ground floor sash windows with 2 glazing bar sashes above; to right of these are 2 long multi-paned stairlights which overlap both storeys, beneath the left one is a small 6-pane sash and beneath the shorter, right window is a part-glazed door and 6-pane fanlight. Two flights of stone steps lead up to doorway, with elaborate wrought iron railings and, at the top, the initials WB and MB inter- twined, presumably the intermarriage of the Bromley and Beauchamp families. Beneath the steps is a trefoil-shaped cast iron trough, with a frieze of figures and a grotesque mask set in curved back providing the fountainhead. There are 3 hipped dormers with casements behind the parapet above this left side of the east elevation. On the right side of the gabled section are 2 paired 18-pane sash windows on the first floor, and a group of 3 and a pair of similar windows on the ground floor, all with chamfered mullions; in the east wing extension is a glazing bar sash. The south elevation has regular fenestration; there are 4 ground floor 18-pane sashes with 4 first floor glazing bar sashes and 2 hipped dormers with casements. Interior: Tower: ground floor divided into two having a C15 vaulted corridor into main build- ing with 2 narrow chambers on south side. In thickness of north wall is a straight flight of stone stairs to the first floor now reached through door in north external elevation, but originally approached through doorway in solar part of house, now blocked. Also spiral staircase in south-west corner, now blocked and upper flight broken away. Main building: solar roof believed to retain C15 timbers. On ground floor west wall has blocked doorway to cellar in angle with tower, and beside it blocked entrance to tower stairs, as previously referred to. Attic floor of solar divided by C16 partition, both rooms having remains of C16 plastering. Early C18 dog-leg staircase with narrow turned balusters, moulded handrail and panelled dado. Hall, dining and drawing rooms all have early C18 panelling and finishings. Tower believed to have been built by John Beauchamp, the first lord Beauchamp of Kidderminster, who was executed in 1388. (Listed Building Report)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO830625
Latitude52.2609405517578
Longitude-2.24959993362427
Eastings383060
Northings262500
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 82
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 397
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 279
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 51
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 508 (possible)
  • Pevsner, N., 1968, Buildings of England: Worcestershire (Harmondsworth, Penguin Books) p. 198-9
  • Page, Wm and Willis-Bund, J.W. (eds), 1913, VCH Worcestershire Vol. 3 p. 401-5 online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 384-5 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 252 online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Oswald, 1940, Country Life Vol. 88 p. 54-7, 76-80