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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009
Ten Town Tour: Holt

Holt, Norfolk
Holt once suffered from a fire that spread throughout the town

The north Norfolk market town of Holt is believed to have been founded at the crossing point of two major routes in Norfolk and its name was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for woodland.

Around 1700, Holt was very similar to the settlement that had sprung up in Medieval times - the market town was thriving and the settlement had a relatively large population. The town now houses around 4,000 residents.

Although situated several miles inland, Holt is recorded as being linked through to the port at Cley, with the Domesday book clearly naming the seaside settlement as "Holt's Port".

On Saturday, 1 May, 1708, a devastating fire started in the Shirehall Plain, one of the small streets located just off the High Street in the town centre.

In just three hours the fire had swept through the majority of Holt and destroyed all the buildings in it's path.

The cost of the damage, including that of the badly-affected church, was estimated at £11,000 - a huge sum of money in the 18th Century.

To help the town's reconstruction, donations were received from all around the UK. The reinvented Georgian town still stands today.

Today Holt is known as an end point on the North Norfolk Railway, the steam line linked to Sheringham, and is home to the long established Gresham's School.

The first Holt Summer Festival, bringing the arts and music to the town, took place in August 2009 and featured singer Elkie Brooks.

BBC Norfolk drives into Holt Bakers and Larners on Wednesday, 25 November, 2009.


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