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Wiltshire Community History

United Reform Church, Holt

A house occupied by Samuel Martimer (Mortimer) was certified for Independent meetings in 1792 and his group may have been the forerunners of this chapel. There was certainly a small congregation meeting in a room at the White Hart Inn (now the Toll Gate) in 1800 and by 1810 Mr T. Stratton was working to establish a non-conformist chapel. This had been built, due to his efforts, by 1813 for Evangelical ministers at a cost of £220. From 1816 it was known as the Independent Chapel. The chapel was enlarged in 1846, at a cost of £330, and from then onwards the ground floor was used for a Day School and a Sunday School and the upper floor for church meetings. From 1859 it was known as the Congregational Church and the Beaven family of tanners, the largest local employers, were staunch members. In 1878 the church took over the running of the South Wraxall chapel, which was then served by the Holt minister.

Membership increased and the school was likely to have more children than it could accommodate and so a new and larger chapel was needed. The foundation stone for this was laid on 2nd June 1880 and a new building in the Early English style of the 14th century was designed by W.S. Stent of Warminster. It is 62 feet by 38 feet and has a nave, transepts, a west aisle, provision for an east aisle, if required, and a gallery. There were seats for 280, the church was built largely of Atworth stone, and the organ from the old church was removed and remodelled for the new. The total cost was £2,181 and many fund raising events were organised with the money was paid off by 1887. The new church was opened and dedicated on 18th November 1880 with 200 people at a celebratory dinner and 400 at tea, despite a heavy snowstorm on that day. The old chapel continued to be used for both schools and other groups. The Congregational and Church of England schools were amalgamated in 1935 but the old chapel continued to be used as a school until 1962. The old Manse was demolished in 1912 and a new one built.

On the national union of Presbyterians and Congregationalists in 1972 the church became Holt United Reformed Church. In 1977 the old chapel was renovated at a cost of £10,005 with the ground floor being completely gutted to make a chuch hall. This was opened on 28th June 1978 and is used by many organisations including Holt Pre-School. A new heating system was installed in the church itself in 1979 at a cost of £1,720.

Church Search Results

There were 3 items found.

United Reform Church, Holt
United Reform Church, Holt

Image Date: 2004
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


United Reform Church, Holt
United Reform Church, Holt

Image Date: 2004
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


United Reform Church, Holt
United Reform Church, Holt

Image Date: 2004
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


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