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Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST MARTIN
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Malvern Hills (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 82959 62556


SO 86 SW; 2/82

HOLT CP, Church of St Martin




Parish church. Mid-C12, altered in C13, C14 and C15 additions, restored in 1859. Sandstone rubble, part coursed, also sandstone ashlar, tiled roofs with gable end parapets. West tower, nave with opposing doorways, south chapel, chancel and vestry.

West tower: C15; three stages; string to lower stage and above and below belfry stage; corner angled buttresses with offsets up to second stage, small flat buttresses on corbels at belfry stage. 3-light west window with hood mould and head label stops; second stage has single light, flat-headed openings filled with pierced stone louvres; belfry stage has 2-light windows also filled with pierced, stone louvres. Embattled parapet and corner crocketted finials. Nave: North elevation has buttresses with offsets at each end and below easternmost window. The latter dates from the C19 restoration and echoes earlier windows; its outer arch, enriched with cable moulding, continues as frieze which runs beneath the sills of the two lower C12 windows; these have wide, splayed reveals. Between them is the north doorway, also C12, round-headed of two orders, richly chevron moulded, and having nookshafts with figured capitals, the left one illustrating the fable of the Fox and the Crane both drinking from a cask. The opposing doorway in the south elevation is of similar but richer design, its round arch has horizontal and vertical chevrons; double nookshafts with cushion capitals and grotesque heads. To the west is a C19 window, again highly detailed in the C12 manner. South chapel Added in C14, and adjoining upper nave and lower chancel. Separate tiled roof, buttresses with offsets at ends and to right of centre of south elevation. 3-light C14 east window and three C14 2-light windows in south wall; between westernmost one is a blocked light. A string course stops a few feet each side of this light and the adjacent buttress appears to be later in date so there may have been a small building against this part of the wall. In the west elevation is a small, blocked, pointed, arched light, probably a hagioscope, over which the string course forms a hood. Chancel: Original chancel lengthened in C13. Buttresses with offsets at east end; 2-light C15 east window; three round-headed single light windows in north elevation; the sills of central and westernmost ones were lengthened in C13 and both cut through an embattled moulding. Between them projects a C19 gabled vestry, parapet has saddlestone and there are two round-headed lights in its north gable end. Chancel south elevation has a C13 round-headed light at its east end.

INTERIOR: C12 chancel arch, with chevron mouldings and sunk label above enriched with medallions, beast's head at apex, double nookshafts and half-columns to each jamb, all have capitals with scalloped and interlace ornament, the north column carved with grotesque heads; the eastern face is a similar but less detailed design. South arcade, C14, two bays, round-headed arches of two chamfered orders, central octagonal pier with moulded capital and base; responds are octagonal to within 4 feet of ground and square below; west face of upper part of east respond is a pointed arch-headed recess. There is an additional archway into chapel in the south chancel wall, similarly detailed. Waggon roofs to nave and chancel; chapel has two intermediate queen-post trusses with arch braces above collar, to sides of posts and beneath tie-beam ends. Font: C12 drum-shaped on chevron-incised base and short, thick stem with spiral fluting. Bowl base has cable moulding and beaded spiral band, bowl decorated with grotesque heads, their expanded mouths joined by swags. The pulpit is C19, with detailing of elaborate Romanesque inspiration. C15 trefoil-headed piscina; opposite piscina in north wall of chancel is a C12 round-headed niche, defaced when the chancel was lengthened. To left of it is a C19 round-headed enriched doorway into the vestry. Either side of the altar are two C13 arched niches. Brass neo-Romanesque altar rails of thick columns with decorated capitals. Above the chancel arch is a segmental mosaic, a C19 copy of the C5 Good Shepherd mosaic in the Mausoleum of Galla Placida in Ravenna; beneath is written "In memory of William, Earl of Dudley, who restored this church in 1859". There is also a mosaic of vines behind the altar and each side large mosaics of angels, the right one signed F Novo, Venezia 1886. On the west wall of the chapel hangs a tabard emblazoned with the Brayley arms and quarterings. Parish chest in chapel.

Memorials: In the south chapel is a C15 life-size effigy of a woman with a lion at her feet and a coat of arms; she is believed to be the daughter of Sir John Beauchamp; the effigy was painted in the C19. On the south chapel wall is a memorial to Henry Bromley, died 1683, of Ionic columns flanking the inscribed tablet with the Bromley crest within a pediment above. On the west wall of the chapel is a memorial to Mercy Bromley, wife of Henry Bromley, died 1704, a tablet flanked by spiral columns and grieving cherubs, and above a relief of putti surmounted by the Bromley crest. On the south wall of the chancel is a memorial to Sir Henry Bromley, died 1615, flanked by Ionic columns and above two angels and the Bromley crest; on the north chance wall are three early C19 memorials. On the chancel floor are 6 ledger slabs; one to John Washbourne died 1619, a former rector, and some medieval tile remains. There are also five ledger slabs and medieval tile remains on the chapel floor.

Glass: fragmentary C15 Annunciation in chapel. East window by Kempe, 1892. Central window in north chancel wall has fragments of medieval glass.

One of the most important and profusely decorated Romanesque churches in Worcesterhsire.

Listing NGR: SO8296462557


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Worcester, (1924)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, (1963)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 03 Sep 2004
Reference: IOE01/11863/12
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Mike Hayzelden. Source Historic England Archive
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