A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 10, Munslow Hundred (Part), the Liberty and Borough of Wenlock. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1998.
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The quiet parish of Holdgate, also called Castle Holdgate, (fn. 1) lies in Corve Dale 12 km. south-west of Much Wenlock and remote from main thoroughfares. It had c. 1,973 a. until 1883 and consisted mainly of Holdgate and Brookhampton townships. It seems to have been formed in the late 11th century by diversion of the tithes from the lord of Holdgate's demesnes, perhaps from a church at Patton (and in Bouldon's case from Diddlebury church), to his new castle church; (fn. 2) the dispersed character of the demesne lands may explain why the parish had several small detachments and two large ones, the Coates and Bouldon. In 1883 seven detachments (38 a.) were absorbed by Stanton Long civil parish; in 1884 the Coates and three remaining detachments (264 a. altogether) passed to Stanton Long, and Bouldon (c. 417 a.) to Diddlebury, (fn. 3) leaving 1,254 a. (507 ha.). (fn. 4) In 1967 almost all of Holdgate C.P. was absorbed by Tugford C.P., the rest (c. 1 ha.) going to Munslow C.P. (fn. 5) This article deals with the area of the pre-1883 parish except for Bouldon, which has a separate article.
Holdgate and Brookhampton lay on the eastern side of Corve Dale. Their territory was roughly square, bounded on the west by Trow brook and on the east by the rising edge of the Clee plateau. The virtually unbroken line of the eastern boundary and its northward continuation in the boundary of Stanton Long parish suggest that it was fixed along the contours of the plateau when Holdgate, Brookhampton, and Stanton Long were still within an undivided pre-Conquest estate called 'Stantune'. (fn. 6) Holdgate and Brookhampton lie wholly on the Ledbury Group of the Downton Series of the Lower Old Red Sandstone, except where the land rises beyond 190 m. east of New Buildings; there the Ditton Series overlies the Downton and is separated from it by a narrow layer of 'Psammosteus' Limestone. (fn. 7) The soils are mostly red-brown loams, with alluvial soils along the watercourses. (fn. 8) The land slopes down northwestwards from 235 m. at the Clee plateau to 135 m. at Trow brook, except for an intervening sandstone ridge that rises to 169 m. Streams from the Clee plateau converge south of Brookhampton and then flow to Trow brook through a gap in the ridge.
No evidence of settlement in the prehistoric and Roman periods is known. In 1086 Holdgate manor had a recorded population of 13. (fn. 9) There was evidently much growth in Holdgate manor before 1315, when it had 12 freeholders, 21 customary tenants, and 12 cottagers. (fn. 10) In 1676 the whole parish had c. 80 adults. (fn. 11) In 1793 there were 202 inhabitants in 42 families. (fn. 12) Between 1811 and 1821 the population rose from 197 to 238. It never again reached that level. The population of Holdgate and Brookhampton declined markedly in the 1820s, as did that of Brookhampton in the 1860s. The population of the civil parish continued to fall 1891-1951. The total remained at 47 during the 1950s, (fn. 13) after which no separate figures are available. It seems that most of the people have lived since the Middle Ages in the three villages or hamlets of Holdgate, Brookhampton, and Bouldon.
Helgot's castle, from which the village and parish were named, and the church (fn. 14) were built at the highest part of the central ridge and overlooked Corve Dale. A raised wedge-shaped area (c. 1.5 ha.) tapers from the castle northeastwards along the ridge and is bisected lengthwise by an abandoned roadway, which is aligned on the castle motte and continues the former line of the Stanton Long road, which was represented in 1990 by a low linear bank that climbs from the stream at Brookhampton. The raised area is unexplained and undated; (fn. 15) it may be the abandoned site of the 13th-century market (fn. 16) or of an unrecorded attempt at town plantation. The modern road from Stanton Long skirts its southern boundary. Shrinkage of settlement at Holdgate after the 13th century may be indicated, too, by some of the earthworks on the ridge's south-eastern flank. The later medieval village was probably confined to the narrow ridge top south of the castle, as in 1989.
There was presumably new building below and beyond the ridge top before the late 17th century, for in Holdgate township 18 houses paid to the hearth tax in 1672, eight of which had more than one hearth. (fn. 17) By 1842 the township had only 10 houses in all, half of which ranked as farms. The village then lay along the ridge top for c. 500 m. from the Hall to Lower Farm. Two cottages stood farther south-west along the ridge, at Gallitree bank. Another cottage, Blue Hall, and one farm, Castlemoor, lay isolated in the fields. (fn. 18) Castlemoor, a timber framed house with early 19th-century brick and stone additions, (fn. 19) dated from the clearance of woodland in the 16th or 17th century. (fn. 20) The village had probably contracted during amalgamations of farms in the 18th century; (fn. 21) some of the earthworks on the south-eastern side of the ridge seem to represent houses abandoned then. (fn. 22) Amalgamations in the later 19th century (fn. 23) left Holdgate township with only the rectory, three farms, and four cottages by 1907, (fn. 24) and there has been almost no change since.
In 1672 Brookhampton had 10 houses liable to the hearth tax, six with more than one hearth. (fn. 25) In 1842 there were seven farms and eight cottages. The houses lay mostly on a 500-m. length of the lane from Stanton Long to Holdgate, on the central ridge where it descended south to the brook. The Leasowes and New Buildings stood among fields to the east, the smithy and two cottages c. 300 m. along King's Lane. (fn. 26) Earthworks south of the junction of King's Lane and the Stanton Long lane represented several former buildings, perhaps houses abandoned in the 18th century or much earlier. (fn. 27) Brookhampton township's population fell from 86 to 47 in the 1860s, (fn. 28) and in 1907 there were only five farms or smallholdings and four cottages. (fn. 29) There has been no contraction since.
The lane from Bridgnorth through Stanton Long (fn. 30) followed the ridge south-west through Brookhampton and Holdgate villages to Broncroft; thence by the 13th century it led, perhaps via Bouldon, past Corfham (in Diddlebury) to Ludlow. (fn. 31) It offered an alternative BridgnorthLudlow route to those via Burwarton and Ditton Priors. In 1989 it was the only road out of Holdgate and Brookhampton for wheeled traffic, but other lanes formerly ran from it across the parish boundary in several directions. Next to the smithy in King's Lane a drift road branched south-east towards the Brown Clee; (fn. 32) beyond the parish boundary it was joined by another drift road running south-east from Holdgate village. (fn. 33)
The Coates, which lies c. 500 m. north-east of Brookhampton and beyond Stanton Long village, forms an irregular east-west rectangle. Its eastern boundary is part of the northern continuation of Stanton Long's parish boundary and so probably coincides with part of the boundary of pre-Conquest 'Stantune'. Its northern boundary continues westwards as that of Stanton Long township, to which the Coates then probably belonged; (fn. 34) it shared in that township's open fields. (fn. 35) Its geology is the same as Holdgate's but without limestone. (fn. 36) No evidence of settlement other than at the main house (fn. 37) is known.
A wake on Trinity Sunday was still observed c. 1840. (fn. 38) An aleseller lived near Holdgate church in 1719. (fn. 39) In 1841 (fn. 40) and 1851 (fn. 41) Mary Howells kept a public house at Brookhampton, opposite the later Brook Farm; (fn. 42) it had gone by 1881. (fn. 43) The county library opened a book centre at Holdgate c. 1927, (fn. 44) but no public room remained after the school closed in 1948. (fn. 45)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
Called 'Stantune' in 1086, (fn. 46) HOLDGATE had presumably been part of the greater 'Stantune' that was restored to the church of Wenlock in 901 by Aethelraed and Aethelflaed. In their time 'Stantune' seems also to have included Stanton Long. (fn. 47) By 1066 the 'Stantune' that became Holdgate had again ceased to belong to the church of Wenlock and consisted of five estates held freely by Ketil (Chetel), Genust, Alweard (Aelward), Dunning, and Aelfgifu (Elueua). By 1086 Helgot held them of Roger of Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury (the tenant in chief) as two estates. (fn. 48) He was called Helgot of 'Reisolent', (fn. 49) perhaps from Résenlieu (Orne) in or near Roger's vicomté of the Hiémois, and was the eponymous lord who gave his name to his chief manor and to the barony centred on it. Honor and manor descended together. (fn. 50) Helgot's son Herbert of Clee, (fn. 51) nephew of Geoffrey of Clee ('de Clive'), bishop of Hereford, (fn. 52) succeeded before 1116 (fn. 53) and was living in 1121. The family is presumed to have held the manor in chief after Earl Robert's forfeiture in 1102. Herbert's son Herbert (fn. 54) of Castle Holdgate ('de castello Holgot') (fn. 55) was chief lord in 1166 (fn. 56) and died in 1189 or 1190. (fn. 57) His widow died childless in 1192 or 1193. (fn. 58) By 1194 Ralph of Arden held the manor, (fn. 59) apparently in right of his wife Agnes, daughter and heir of Robert de la Mare (perhaps a nephew of Herbert of Castle Holdgate) (fn. 60) and widow of Robert Mauduit of Warminster (Wilts.). (fn. 61) Between 1197 and 1199 Ralph was succeeded as lord by Agnes's son Thomas Mauduit. (fn. 62) In 1244, after Thomas's death, Holdgate passed to his son William (fn. 63) who alienated it in 1256 to Richard, earl of Cornwall and king of the Romans (d. 1272). (fn. 64) Richard's son Earl Edmund succeeded as lord, (fn. 65) although the Templars of Lydley had held the manor of the earl of Cornwall in fee farm since 1263. (fn. 66) The Templars' tenure lasted until some time between 1276 (fn. 67) and c. 1284. (fn. 68) Between c. 1284 and 1292 Earl Edmund's feudal tenant of Holdgate, Robert Burnell, bishop of Bath and Wells, acquired the chief lordship, (fn. 69) which thereafter followed the descent of Acton Burnell until 1542 when Sir John Dudley exchanged Acton Burnell. (fn. 70) As earl of Warwick he gave Holdgate in 1549 to the see of Worcester in an exchange. (fn. 71) In 1648 Parliament sold it to Thomas Groome and Henry Fewtrell (fn. 72) but it had been returned to the bishop by 1661. (fn. 73) It remained with the see until Bishop Pepys died in 1860, when it passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 74) They sold the freehold c. 1861 to their lessee, the Revd. Henry Thursby-Pelham (fn. 75) (d. 1878). He was succeeded by his grandson J. A. H. ThursbyPelham (fn. 76) (d. 1947), whose daughter Mrs. M. A. N. Chapman was lady of the manor in 1965. (fn. 77) Its descent thereafter has not been traced.
In 1548 the earl of Warwick leased Holdgate manor for 200 years to William Heath, (fn. 78) the bishop of Worcester's brother, (fn. 79) who assigned it in 1551 to Henry Cressett, (fn. 80) second son of Richard Cressett of Upton. (fn. 81) Henry died in 1563, leaving the lease to his nephew Richard Cressett of Upton; Henry's widow Mary was still in possession in 1566, but Richard held the lease by 1572. At his death in 1601 it passed to Henry's cousin Francis Cressett of the Coates, (fn. 82) who assigned it in 1603 to Henry Townshend of Cound (kt. 1604), (fn. 83) father-in-law of his son Edward. In 1611 Townshend assigned the lease to Edward, (fn. 84) who bought Cound manor in 1623; (fn. 85) the lease, periodically renewed, seems to have passed with Cound thereafter. (fn. 86) At John Cressett Pelham's death (fn. 87) in 1838 moieties of his leasehold and freehold estates passed to his sister Mrs. Frances Thursby and brother-in-law Thomas Papillon. (fn. 88) In 1842 Papillon assigned his Shropshire moieties to Frances (fn. 89) (d. 1852), and her son the Revd. Henry Thursby-Pelham bought the Holdgate manorial freehold c. 1861. (fn. 90)
J. A. H. Thursby-Pelham, who had, in addition to the manor, acquired or succeeded to other estates in Holdgate, offered all his Holdgate estate for sale, except the manor, in 1907, (fn. 91) though some farms were not sold until later. (fn. 92) Holdgate Hall farm (484 a. in 1907) (fn. 93) remained with J. A. H. Thursby-Pelham in 1913 (fn. 94) but seems to have been sold by 1917 to John Allen (d. 1939). (fn. 95) In 1941 A. G. Allen sold it to P. G. Holder (d. 1945), (fn. 96) whose sister Maude Mary (d. 1953), (fn. 97) was probably the Miss Holder said to be the owner in 1946. (fn. 98) P. G. Holder's daughter Mrs. D. M. Gamble (fn. 99) sold the house and farm in 1954 to J. L. Hartley. (fn. 100) The Hartleys retained the property in 1989.
Holdgate had a castle in 1086, (fn. 101) represented by the surviving motte, which stands 9 m. high. The motte is sited between two apparently contemporary and symmetrical triangular enclosures, that on the north-east seemingly a bailey, that on the south-west the churchyard. Inside the northern edge of the supposed bailey a free-standing tower house with massive round corner turrets seems to have been built in the late 13th or early 14th century. One turret remains on the west and the base of that next to it on the north (still standing in 1737), (fn. 102) with the lower part of the wall between them. In 1292 the site consisted of an old castle, worth nothing, a chief house, a garden, and a dovehouse. (fn. 103) The chief house may thus have been the tower house. In 1383 the old castle was almost wholly in ruins, but the chief house remained then and in 1420. (fn. 104) Its gardens and curtilages were mentioned in 1315. (fn. 105) A castle yard was mentioned in 1544. (fn. 106) Two parks mentioned in 1428 (fn. 107) were perhaps the great and little parks (together 16 a.) that in 1842 lay immediately east of the castle site, on the other side of the lane. (fn. 108) Parts of the castle (perhaps the tower house) remained standing until the Civil Wars, when Royalists pulled them down. (fn. 109) The motte may have been adapted as a garden mount. In 1737 a small tower, not necessarily medieval, was said formerly to have stood on it, (fn. 110) and indications of a rectangular stone building remain there. It was said c. 1840, however, that the motte had been lowered by 6 ft. in modern times. (fn. 111) A vaulted chamber in its base may have been an icehouse. The stone-built Hall Farm, presumably the building described in 1648 as a 'fair' house with dovehouse, barns, and outhouses for cattle, (fn. 112) seems to have been built on the broken walls of the tower house; it incorporated the western and northern turrets and the wall between them. The house was later extended south, and in 1763 the northern end was rebuilt, (fn. 113) its corner turret having been recently demolished. (fn. 114)
The Revd. Henry Thursby-Pelham, who bought the manor c. 1861, had inherited a freehold estate in Holdgate that his family held in the 16th century. Henry Cressett (d. 1563), lessee of Holdgate manor, (fn. 115) had freehold property there, which he left to his nephew Richard Cressett (d. 1601). (fn. 116) The property seems to have descended thereafter with the leasehold of the manor, for Henry Cressett Pelham (d. 1803) had the freehold of 79 a. in Holdgate parish. (fn. 117) About 1825 John Cressett Pelham gave 67 a. of that to the living of Clee St. Margaret, (fn. 118) but he had bought another 44 a. in 1806 from Charles Hanbury-Tracy, (fn. 119) and his sister and heir Frances Thursby thus owned 56 a. freehold in the parish in 1842. (fn. 120)
In 1568 Francis Cressett of the Coates (d. 1606) (fn. 121) had a freehold in Holdgate. (fn. 122) It descended with the Coates until Edward Cressett's death in 1672 (fn. 123) when it passed to his son Thomas (d. 1679), (fn. 124) who was succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth. In 1698 she married John Minton, (fn. 125) who later sold the Holdgate freehold to Richard Phillips of Brockton (in Sutton Maddock). (fn. 126) Capt. Richard Phillips owned it in 1787 (fn. 127) when it comprised 118 a. with two houses, (fn. 128) and G. M. Phillips in 1863. (fn. 129) By 1874 it had been added to the Holdgate manorial estate, (fn. 130) and by 1907 had been reorganized as a farm of 162 a. (fn. 131) Between then and 1913 it passed from J. A. H. Thursby-Pelham to Arthur Morgan of Tugford. (fn. 132) It was known by 1874 as LOWER FARM, (fn. 133) and also by 1978 as HOLDGATE FARM. (fn. 134) The 17th-century house is timber framed on a rubble base and was originally of one storey and thatched; a framed upper storey and tiled roof were added. (fn. 135)
The Russell family was living at Brookhampton by 1308. William Russell, son and heir of Richard Russell of Brookhampton, had a freehold there in 1460. (fn. 138) It belonged by 1475 to Walter Russell (fl. 1487) of Ludlow, a baker, (fn. 139) and by 1504 to his son Richard Russell (or Baker), who sold it in 1508 to Richard More of Thonglands. (fn. 140) More gave it in 1523 to his son Robert, (fn. 141) at whose death in 1545 it passed to his son Edward, a minor, who obtained livery in 1555. When Edward died in 1558 it passed to his brother Thomas, (fn. 142) who sold it in 1565 to Ralph Jurden of Sutton (fn. 143) (in Diddlebury). Ralph died in 1587 (fn. 144) and Thomas Jurden was probably in possession in 1604. (fn. 145) By 1659 the property belonged to John Churchman, and it then descended with his Stanton Long property and in 1806 was sold (44 a.) by Charles Hanbury-Tracy to John Cressett Pelham. (fn. 146) It then descended with Cressett Pelham's other freehold and leasehold property in Holdgate parish. (fn. 147) The house, occupied in 1805, (fn. 148) had gone by 1842 when the land was farmed by the undertenant of Holdgate Hall farm. (fn. 149)
In 1444 William Walle the elder and William Walle the younger had property in Brookhampton. Thomas Walle sold it in 1513 to Thomas Skrymsher. (fn. 150) It descended thereafter with Malt House farm, Stanton Long, (fn. 151) until 1863 when Edward VI's charity, Ludlow, conveyed it (67 a.) to the Revd. Henry Thursby-Pelham in exchange for Lower House farm, Stanton Long. (fn. 152) It then descended with Holdgate manor until sold to F. W. Blake of Ludlow in 1907. (fn. 153) By 1910 it was called BROOK FARM. (fn. 154) It belonged by 1913 to William Haynes. (fn. 155) Between 1863 and 1907 the farmhouse became a cottage, called King's Croft in 1990, and the house of an adjacent smallholding became the farmhouse. (fn. 156)
In 1842 the incumbent of Clee St. Margaret had 108 a. of glebe in Holdgate parish, (fn. 157) 67 a. of it given by John Cressett Pelham c. 1825 and the rest bought soon afterwards with a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 158) The farmhouse site (fn. 159) was added to the Holdgate rectorial glebe in 1864 as a site for the new rectory house. (fn. 160) J. A. H. Thursby-Pelham acquired the rest in 1882 from the vicar of Clee St. Margaret by exchange (fn. 161) and added it to his manorial estate.
The Wele (or Weole) family was living by the late 14th century at THE COATES, also called Coates under Leath (fn. 162) or White Coats, (fn. 163) and was headed in 1422 (fn. 164) and c. 1440 by William Wele, (fn. 165) probably Edmund Wele's son and heir of that name. (fn. 166) In 1488 another William Wele, with Alice his wife, was said to hold the estate of the earl of Shrewsbury in fee. (fn. 167) It was called a manor by 1501. (fn. 168) On William's death the estate was shared by his mistress Alice Roberts (later Langworth) and their son John Wele (or Roberts). John was in sole possession from her death c. 1538 (fn. 169) until 1557 or later. (fn. 170) He or his son John Wele (fn. 171) sold the Coates in 1560 to Thomas Cressett of Stanton Lacy (d. 1566), (fn. 172) who was succeeded by his son Francis (d. 1606). (fn. 173) By 1615 Francis's son Francis was in possession. (fn. 174) He died in 1640 or 1641, (fn. 175) and by 1648 the Coates was owned by his son Edward (d. 1672). (fn. 176) Thereafter the reputed manor was held by a trustee, Thomas Wolley, until he relinquished it in 1699 to Edward's granddaughter and heir Elizabeth Cressett, wife of John Minton. (fn. 177) By 1724 it had passed to the Mintons' son Edward (d. 1781), (fn. 178) who left it to a nephew Edward Minton (fl. 1787) (fn. 179) for life, with remainder to the latter's nephew Capt. William Slack. Slack, who lived in France, was unable to get possession until 1815. He sold the reputed manor to Edward Howells in 1825. By will proved 1830 Howells left the Coates farm to his daughter Sarah, wife of Thomas France, and after her death to their son E. H. France, who sold it in 1867 to G. F. Hamilton-Russell, Viscount Boyne (fn. 180) (d. 1872), whose son G. R. HamiltonRussell, the 8th viscount (d. 1907), left it to his second son F. G. Hamilton-Russell, (fn. 181) who sold it in 1919 to T. Howard of Medley Park (in Culmington). (fn. 182) A. E. Gough owned it in 1945. (fn. 183) It was bought before 1974 (fn. 184) by H. S. Killick, whose widow owned it in 1990. The stone house, of two storeys and three bays, dates from the 18th century, probably from 1777. (fn. 185) Moulded joists of c. 1600 were re-used within. The house was uninhabited after the Second World War until the Killicks restored it, introducing on the ground floor panelling from Eaton Hall (Ches.), demolished 1961-5, (fn. 186) and adding a stone wing at the rear. (fn. 187)
In 1086 there were two estates. The larger had 3 hides and 5½ ploughlands; having been 'waste' when Helgot took possession, it was then worth 25s. The smaller estate, perhaps at Brookhampton, had 2 hides and 2½ ploughlands; its value had fallen from 8s. to 3s. (fn. 188)
In 1292 the Holdgate demesne included 3 carucates of arable and 5 a. of wood. The manor was valued at £19 11s. 8½d. a year. (fn. 189) By 1315 its value was £14 10s. 5½d. The demesne arable had been reduced to 2 carucates while the cash rents of freeholders, customary tenants, and cottagers had increased, from £7 6s. 8½d. in 1292 to £10 13s. 5½d: (fn. 190) it may be that declining income from the demesne had induced the lord to let off part of it and accept cash rents in lieu of labour services. By 1428 the whole demesne was let to tenants, and the manor's gross income that year, excluding arrears, was £26 16s. 2¼d. (fn. 191) In 1515 Robert Legge took a 49-year lease of the demesne. (fn. 192)
In the 16th century the arable at Brookhampton lay in Broadmoor field north-east of the village, Park field to the south-east, and Brook (or Nether) field to the west; (fn. 193) part of Broadmoor field was in Stanton Long parish. (fn. 194) In the early 17th century Holdgate had a separate set of open fields: Perell field south-west of the village, Park field to the south-east, and Church field to the north-west. (fn. 195) Inclosure of open-field arable was very gradual in Holdgate and Brookhampton; in 1842 a considerable acreage of uninclosed strips remained in nine fields, presumably fragments of the former six. At the Coates, which had land in Stanton Long's open fields, (fn. 196) everything was inclosed before 1842. (fn. 197)
Medieval clearances of woodland were indicated at Brookhampton in 1549 by the name 'Stocking' in Brook and Broadmoor fields; (fn. 198) the name referred to 35 a. at Brookhampton in 1842, around New Buildings on the rising ground below the Clee plateau. (fn. 199) Blackmoor, a 10-a. pasture at Holdgate in 1648, (fn. 200) may also have represented a former wood, waste, or marsh, as perhaps did Gamesmoor and Shot moor, west of Brookhampton, together 13 a. in 1842. (fn. 201) In 1546 there was a neglected demesne wood, Castlemoor, near Holdgate's southern boundary; it was probably the common wood called the Moor in 1383, (fn. 202) whose underwood and pasture were worth nothing to the lord in 1420. (fn. 203) In 1546 Henry Cressett and the rector received a 21-year lease of three quarters of the herbage of Castlemoor on condition that they cleared the undergrowth, leaving only the saplings of oak, ash, and fruit trees. (fn. 204) By 1648, however, there was said to be no wood in Holdgate or Brookhampton other than in hedges and in 3 a. of coppice felled every 20 years. Castlemoor was presumably by then the 'farm at the wood now laid to the demesnes', 60 a. of pasture and 10 a. of meadow. (fn. 205)
The coppice mentioned in 1648 was probably in that 'land or wood ground' called the Edge, which in 1654 occupied the escarpment at the parish's boundary with Ditton Priors (fn. 206) and was represented in 1842 by 22 a. of pasture called the Coppice. (fn. 207) Only 16 a. in Holdgate parish were then woodland, and that of no annual value. (fn. 208)
There seem to have been no common wastes at Holdgate or Brookhampton by the 17th century, but the inhabitants were said in 1617 to have, as strakers, right of common on the waste of Brown Clee, c. 4 km. south-east. (fn. 209) Allegedly that right was allowed by the lord of Clee chase in return for their not harming stray deer among their crops. (fn. 210) Cattle were normally driven through Earnstrey park (in Diddlebury) and Abdon Marsh to the 'driving out' above Ditton's wood and there turned out to graze. (fn. 211) In the later 18th century sheep, normally wintered on farms in Holdgate and Brookhampton, were driven to Brown Clee in spring. The drift road from Brookhampton ran south-south-east from King's Lane and converged with that from Holdgate in Earnstrey park; it ran thence to Marsh gate (in Abdon), above which the sheep were turned out on Abdon common or 'liberty'; some were driven to the adjacent Earnstrey Liberty. Those movements had virtually ceased (fn. 212) by 1813, when Abdon common was inclosed; the freeholders of Holdgate and Brookhampton were then awarded portions of it totalling 152 a. (fn. 213)
In 1648 the eight principal farms in Holdgate and Brookhampton on the manorial estate, apart from the 300-a. demesne at Holdgate, varied in size between 24 a. and 100 a., the average being 60 a.; the Holdgate farms, other than the demesnes, were much smaller than the Brookhampton ones. Except for the 'farm at the wood' the Holdgate farms, including the demesne, had as much arable as pasture. At Brookhampton, however, the farmers had considerably more arable than pasture. (fn. 214)
At Brookhampton a three-year rotation of oats, wheat, and fallow based on the three open fields was maintained in the late 16th century. (fn. 215) In the 17th century farmers seem to have grown a variety of grains. In May 1626 Edward Cressett sowed 140 a. of arable with wheat (20 a.), mixed corn (30 a.), rye (20 a.), barley (20 a.), and oats (50 a.). (fn. 216) Early 18th-century inventories mention corn in the ground in December and January, (fn. 217) and peas, vetches, and other pulses. (fn. 218) Clover was used at the Coates by 1693. (fn. 219) At Brookhampton there was a former hopyard and a kiln in 1657. (fn. 220) In the late 17th and early 18th century the farmers seem to have kept many more cattle than sheep. One of the largest, Francis Hudson, had 50 cattle in January 1701 and only 18 sheep. (fn. 221) By the later 18th century, however, it was almost exclusively sheep that the farmers of Holdgate and Brookhampton grazed on Brown Clee. Flocks of up to 100 were then known. (fn. 222)
By 1793 the larger farms in Holdgate and Brookhampton had absorbed some of the cottage holdings, and the cottages were sublet to labourers, but none of the farms was considered large. (fn. 223)
a Excluding Bouldon and the Coates.
Sources: P.R.O., MAF 68/143, no. 15; /1340, no. 6; /3880, Salop. no. 108; /4945, no. 108.
In 1842 the farms were intermixed, (fn. 225) but the manorial estate absorbed the intermingled freeholds from the 1860s onwards, (fn. 226) and before 1907 Holdgate and Brookhampton were reorganized in six compact farms: one of 48 a., four between 101 a. and 225 a., and Holdgate Hall, 484 a. In the process the surviving parts of the open fields were inclosed. (fn. 227)
On farms over 25 a. grass and arable were held in roughly equal amounts in 1842. (fn. 228) The grassland was 'very poor'. About 150 a. of arable near Holdgate village were of 'turnip' soil, well farmed in five courses: wheat, turnips, barley, and clover (grazed) for two years. The remaining arable (c. 580 a.) was of a 'weak' soil on a water-retentive subsoil, and there had been no draining; the courses there were fallow and vetches (eaten by cart horses), wheat, oats, clover (half mown, half grazed by cart horses), and clover (grazed by sheep and young cattle). (fn. 229) From the mid 19th century to the early 20th the main farms moved increasingly towards livestock. By the 1960s they had seen some movement towards cereals again, (fn. 230) mainly winter wheat: at Holdgate it was the only grain that could yield more than 2 tons an acre. (fn. 231) In 1965, however, there was still more than twice as much grass as arable. (fn. 232)
In 1222 Thomas Mauduit was granted a weekly market at Holdgate until the king should come of age; (fn. 233) no renewal at the end of that term is known. In 1253 William Mauduit obtained a Thursday market; (fn. 234) it was active in 1285 (fn. 235) but may have lapsed by 1291 when Robert Burnell, bishop of Bath and Wells, was granted a Tuesday market and an annual fair on the eve, feast, and morrow of Trinity. (fn. 236) No later evidence of markets or fairs has been found, and it therefore seems that those of the 13th century failed to become established. (fn. 237) By 1515 the inhabitants went to market outside the parish. (fn. 238)
There was a water mill in Holdgate manor by the earlier 13th century; in 1248 or 1249 William Mauduit granted it in fee to Haughmond abbey. The manor's customary tenants were required to haul its millstones and to do suit when the mill was able to work. After 1264 (fn. 239) the abbey seems to have given up the mill; in 1292 it was held of Bishop Burnell by Roger de Bradeleye. (fn. 240) It was mentioned in 1346 but not in 1383 (fn. 241) or later. The mill seems to have stood at Brookhampton; the 'Mill weir acre' was in Brook field in 1549. (fn. 242)
A cooper lived at Brookhampton in 1385, (fn. 243) and two tailors were mentioned in Holdgate manor in 1576. (fn. 244) In 1841 Holdgate and Brookhampton each had a shoemaker. Brookhampton also had a stonemason and a blacksmith. (fn. 245)
By 1255 the barony of Holdgate had its own court, some of whose suitors were exempt from suit of their hundreds. The exemption did not then apply to all the estates of the barony, but within the liberty William Mauduit claimed the right to have a gallows, to hear pleas of bloodshed, of hue and cry, and breaches of the assize of ale, and pleas under writ of right. (fn. 246) The gallows presumably stood on Gallitree bank (fn. 247) next to the road c. 1 km. south-west of the castle. (fn. 248) Richard of Cornwall annexed more of the barony's members to the liberty between 1256 and 1272, and the Templars, who held the barony of him, extended the court's jurisdiction to pleas de vetito namio. (fn. 249) By 1422 at least 15 separate places did suit. (fn. 250) The court met twice a year in the late 13th century (fn. 251) and was still meeting in the 1590s, when May and November sessions were recorded. By then it was combined with the court baron of Holdgate manor, which elected two constables. (fn. 252) In 1793 Henry Cressett Pelham had a court leet and court baron; (fn. 253) an annual manor court was being held 1813-15; (fn. 254) a court leet met in the 1840s; and in 1863 the Revd. Henry ThursbyPelham held a 'view of frankpledge, court leet, and court baron', which elected constables for Brookhampton and Bouldon. It met at Jeremiah Cocks's house, Holdgate Hall. (fn. 255)
Average annual expenditure on the poor 1782-5 was £44. In 1802-3, however, £153 was spent, and only eight out of 37 recipients of permanent or occasional relief were old or disabled. (fn. 258) Expenditure fluctuated over the next thirty years, peaking at £200 in 1831. (fn. 259)
Holdgate had a church and a priest in 1086, (fn. 263) and Helgot was posthumously credited with having founded a church there. A church, probably a new building, was consecrated by Geoffrey of Clee, bishop of Hereford 1115-19, uncle of Helgot's son Herbert. It was then called the castle church ('ecclesia de castello') (fn. 264) and seems to have been part of the castle; the churchyard, roughly triangular, was one of two enclosures adjoining the motte. (fn. 265)
Before 1189 the rectory was divided into portions for a priest, a deacon, and a subdeacon, (fn. 268) described as canons in 1205. (fn. 269) It is difficult not to connect the portionary constitution of the church with the unusual character of the generous endowment conferred on it by Helgot or his son Herbert, (fn. 270) and, if the portions existed in the 1120s, Warin may have held them all, rather as the Beaumais family engrossed prebends in St. Alkmund's, Shrewsbury. (fn. 271) The priest and his portion were later often referred to as the rector and the rectory. The canons may have been the baron's household clerks, like Earl Roger's, who had earlier been beneficed at Quatford and in his castle chapel at Shrewsbury. (fn. 272) In 1210 Shrewsbury abbey granted the advowson of the deaconry to Thomas Mauduit, (fn. 273) lord of the honor and manor, and in 1283 conveyed those of the rectory and subdeaconry to the bishop of Hereford. (fn. 274) The subdeaconry lapsed after its advowson was last exercised by Bishop Godwin (fn. 275) (1617-33). From 1831 to 1861 the rectory was united with that of Tugford, also in the bishop's gift, (fn. 276) and in 1888 it was united with the deaconry. (fn. 277)
The advowson of the deaconry followed the lordship of the manor from 1210 until 1860, (fn. 278) but it did not, apparently, pass to Sir Nicholas Burnell until Dame Aline Burnell's death (fn. 279) in 1363. (fn. 280) Joan, widow of John, Lord Lovel, and wife of Sir William Stanley, had the advowson in 1466. (fn. 281) The bishop of Hereford collated to the deaconry in 1603, 1632 (twice), (fn. 282) and 1704. (fn. 283) The advowson was leased with the manor by 1551 and until Elizabeth Cressett's death in 1792, (fn. 284) when the bishop of Worcester resumed possession; (fn. 285) the bishop retained the advowson when the manor passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1860.
On the union of the rectory and deaconry the bishop of Worcester had every fourth turn and the bishop of Hereford the other three. (fn. 286) In 1926 Bouldon was transferred to a new benefice, Diddlebury with Bouldon, and the rest of Holdgate benefice was united to that of Tugford as Holdgate with Tugford, the bishop of Worcester to have the second turn, the bishop of Hereford the first, third, and all subsequent turns. (fn. 287) The patronage was suspended from 1958 to 1983 when the benefice was united to that of Diddlebury with Bouldon and Munslow to form Diddlebury with Munslow, Holdgate, and Tugford. The new benefice was to be held in plurality with Abdon, and from 1988 patronage was shared between the bishop and the dean and chapter of Hereford. (fn. 288)
Helgot or his son Herbert (fn. 289) endowed the church with the tithes of his demesne and part of the tithes of his knights' demesnes in various parts of the barony. Thus tithes became due to it from Holdgate township (presumably with Brookhampton) and from parts of the townships of Bouldon, Oxenbold (probably including 'Parva Bentley'), (fn. 290) and Stanton Long (probably including the Coates), and fractions of certain tithes from Belswardine (in Leighton), Charlcotte (in Neenton), Clee St. Margaret, Corfield (in Stanton Long), Felton Butler (in Great Ness), Meadowley (in Morville), Oxenbold (in Monkhopton and Stanton Long), Great Poston (in Diddlebury), Stanton Long, Great Sutton (in Diddlebury), and Uffington. (fn. 291) It thus appears that those lands of Helgot (or of Herbert) that were not subinfeudated formed Holdgate parish, while the estates of his feudal tenants remained outside. Of the new parish's components Holdgate and part of Stanton Long (as members of pre-Conquest 'Stantune') and Oxenbold had probably been originally in Much Wenlock parish, but by Helgot's day they were perhaps attached to a church at Patton; Bouldon was probably formerly in Diddlebury. (fn. 292) By the 1630s no tithes were received from Meadowley, Charlcotte, Uffington, or 'Parva Bentley', (fn. 293) but in the 1840s tithes or moduses were still payable from certain farms in Clee St. Margaret, Corfield, Felton Butler, Oxenbold, Great Poston, Stanton Long, and Great Sutton. (fn. 294) In 1291 a pension of 10s. was payable from the church of Bold (fn. 295) (in Aston Botterell); in 1478 a pension may have been payable to Holdgate from Uffington chapel; (fn. 296) and in 1535 another of 5s. was payable by the vicar of Leighton. (fn. 297) Helgot was said to have exacted perpetual annual sums from all his lands, including Belswardine (in Leighton), Bold, and Uffington, to provide a paschal candle at Holdgate. (fn. 298)
Herbert was said to have given the church 1 hide of land in Holdgate and his wife to have given 1 carucate. When the rectory was divided the priest was assigned a house near the church and glebe comprising 70 a. of arable, 2 crofts (containing 2 a. of pasture), and 3 a. of meadow; and two thirds of all tithes in the parish and one third of all tithes due from other parishes. (fn. 299) His annual income was put at £6 in 1291, when he was owed 3s. 6d. from the pension from Bold; (fn. 300) the rector of Aston Botterell still owed 4s. a year in 1535 to the priest or rector of Holdgate, (fn. 301) who from the later 16th century also had the income of the subdeaconry. (fn. 302) In the 14th and early 15th century the rectors were usually Hereford cathedral or diocesan office-holders and large pluralists outside Shropshire; (fn. 303) Roger of Ottery, rector 1364-c. 1387, claimed that the benefice required no resident incumbent. (fn. 304)
From 1529 the rectors may have been required to reside. Walter Blunt, a graduate pluralist, (fn. 305) resigned the rectory c. 1528 in return for a pension of £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 306) His successor Edward Strete, 1529-c. 1549, (fn. 307) is not known as a pluralist; Maurice Monyngton, 1549-54, was married in the parish; (fn. 308) and Edward Fewtrell, c. 1554-c. 1601, (fn. 309) certainly resided. (fn. 310) The priest's buildings were in disrepair in 1533, (fn. 311) and by 1614 they had been replaced by a 'goodly' glebe house in a detached part of the parish at Stanton Long. (fn. 312) The four priests from c. 1601 to c. 1640 were pluralists (fn. 313) and none is likely to have resided, but Dr. Patrick Panter, rector 1640-70, and his three successors to 1729 (fn. 314) did reside. (fn. 315) In 1705 the rector acquired most of the deacon's tithes. (fn. 316)
The rectors 1729-1860, except perhaps Daniel Price (1772-5), (fn. 317) were pluralists in Shropshire (fn. 318) and none seems to have resided. (fn. 319) They employed curates throughout. (fn. 320) Not used as a parsonage after 1729, (fn. 321) the rectory house at Stanton Long was considered in 1793 to be insufficient; though in average repair for a farmhouse, it had only three small rooms downstairs and four, even smaller, in the roof space. (fn. 322) In 1813 the rector received 8¾ a. glebe in Abdon parish at the inclosure of Abdon common. (fn. 323) His tithes in Holdgate parish were commuted to £222 in 1842 (fn. 324) and those from other parishes to £25 11s. 3d. 1842-7. (fn. 325) In 1793 there were weekly prayers morning and evening, and a morning sermon. Holy communion was celebrated at Easter, Whitsun, Michaelmas, and Christmas, with c. 60 communicants. (fn. 326) In 1851 Sunday congregations averaged 30-40 adults, with c. 35 Sunday school children. (fn. 327)
The rectors 1861-1958 (fn. 328) lived in the parish, (fn. 329) except that R. E. Haymes lived in Herefordshire near the end of his life. (fn. 330) A large brick rectory house with gothic details, by J. P. Seddon, (fn. 331) was built near the church in 1865; (fn. 332) the house at Stanton Long became Glebe Farm. (fn. 333) There were 83 a. of glebe in 1887 (fn. 334) and 113 a., including Glebe farm and the Leasowes, were sold c. 1920. (fn. 335)
Incumbents of other parishes served the cure intermittently 1958-83 as priests or curates in charge. (fn. 336) From 1983 the incumbent of the united benefice lived at Munslow. The rectory house at Holdgate was sold c. 1959, and became Holdgate House. (fn. 337) In 1963 the bishop bought land for a new parsonage (fn. 338) but none was built.
The deacon was in the 12th century assigned 40 a. of arable, 5 crofts (containing 2½ a. of pasture), 1 a. of meadow, and a third of the tithes due from Holdgate and the other parishes. (fn. 339) In 1291 his annual income was reckoned to be £4 6s. 8d., with 3s. 3d. from Bold. (fn. 340) Few deacons are known to have been graduates or pluralists in the later Middle Ages. (fn. 341) In 1551 the deacon leased his tithes for 80 years to Robert Cressett of Upton, who was succeeded soon afterwards by Henry Cressett, (fn. 342) patron of the deaconry. The deacons instituted in 1554 and 1556 were rectors of Abdon (fn. 343) and probably lived there. (fn. 344) No deacon seems to have been instituted after 1556 (fn. 345) until 1603. From 1555 successive patrons sublet the tithes to the rectors, reserving only the deaconry tithes from the Holdgate demesne and Felton Butler, which the patron (as lessee) assigned to the deacon when the deaconry was revived (fn. 346) in 1603. (fn. 347) By 1631, when the 80-year lease expired, the deacon's house near the church had long been occupied by tenants (fn. 348) and the deacons had performed no duties for many years. (fn. 349) No deacon was instituted after 1632 until 1704. (fn. 350) The revenues were said to have been assigned in that period to the rector, the Cressetts being allowed a third turn of the rectory patronage in lieu of their patronage of the deaconry. (fn. 351)
Under an agreement of 1705 the deacon was to receive the rector's tithes (as well as his own) from Felton Butler but to relinquish all his other tithes to the rector; the rector, in return, was to do the deacon's duty. (fn. 352) That arrangement subsisted in the mid 19th century. (fn. 353) The deacon's duties were said in the 18th century to be those of a deacon in the Church of England (fn. 354) and of reading the second lesson (fn. 355) and so to be in 'constant attendance', (fn. 356) but after 1705, since he performed no duties, he was probably always non-resident. (fn. 357) The deacon's house was occupied by an aleseller in 1719 and 'ready to drop down'. (fn. 358) In 1782 the deacon's glebe consisted of 20 a. called the Leasowes, (fn. 359) c. 1 mile from the church, (fn. 360) which yielded £12 rent in 1793; (fn. 361) the tithes from Felton Butler, let to Lord Powis, were producing another £50 in 1782 (fn. 362) and in 1847 were commuted to £54 6s. (fn. 363)
Before 1189 the subdeacon was assigned ½ a. of arable and two crofts (containing 1 a. of pasture) with a third of tithes arising outside the parish. (fn. 364) In 1291 his income was said, implausibly, to be the same as the deacon's. (fn. 365) In 1366 its true annual value was put at 30s. (fn. 366) The subdeaconry revenues hardly sufficed to maintain a non-pluralist, and some subdeacons are known to have enjoyed or proceeded to higher preferment. (fn. 367) In 1551 the subdeacon leased his revenues to Henry Cressett, lessee of the manor, for 80 years, and from 1555 to 1631 the successive lessees sublet them to the rectors, reserving only the subdeaconry tithes from Felton Butler. (fn. 368) From the later 16th century the revenues of the subdeaconry were held by the rectors. (fn. 369) The last subdeacon performed no duties (fn. 370) and had no income from the benefice in the 1630s. (fn. 371)
The small church of the HOLY TRINITY, so dedicated by 1737 (fn. 372) and possibly by 1291, (fn. 373) consists of chancel, nave with south porch, and west tower. (fn. 374) It is built of coursed sandstone rubble with tiled roofs. None of the fabric can be securely dated as early as the consecration of c. 1117, but the exceptionally ornate south doorway and font are 12th-century. The door had wrought ironwork that was apparently of that period. (fn. 375) The chalice shaped font, its bowl covered with bold abstract and animal carving, may be c. 1140, resembling those at Eardisley and Castle Frome (Herefs.) and Chaddesley Corbett (Worcs.). (fn. 376) The nave has a small splayed west window, pierced through a 12th-century central buttress, which was external until the tower was added. The chancel, slightly lower and narrower than the nave, is assumed to be mainly 12th-century but retains no feature datable to that period, except perhaps for a sheela-na-gig in its south wall outside.
The chancel's east end is clearly of the 13th century; the two east lancets are integral with the walling and there seem to be breaks near the east ends of the north and south walls; what seem to be the lower courses of an earlier north wall are visible inside. There is another lancet in the chancel's north wall. That wall also has a plain aumbry. The lower part of the tower seems to date from the 13th century; its battered plinth has a prominent round moulding. The tower was said in 1862 to be entered from the nave through a narrow pointed archway; if so, it was blocked by 1894 to form a window, (fn. 377) south of which is a plain doorway of unknown date. A low arched recess in the south wall of the nave, presumably covering a grave, is believed to be 14th-century; a grave slab, incised with a floriated cross, which forms the interior sill of the south-east chancel window, seems to be earlier. New windows were inserted at various dates in the late 13th or earlier 14th century: one on the north side of the chancel and two on the south, and a pair on each side of the nave. The chancel's south-west window was a low-side window, with shutters at the bottom and two lights above. The head of the chancel piscina is the re-used head of a cusped lancet.
The porch was probably 14th-century; its bargeboards were apparently of that date. The nave door seems to have been replaced in the 14th or 15th century, with some of the earlier ironwork rearranged on it. (fn. 378) The embattled upper stage of the tower was added in the later 14th or 15th century. The nave benches seem late medieval, and wooden stalls for the portioners may have been provided in the chancel: 'ancient elbow chairs, richly carved' for the rector and deacon stood within the communion rail (fn. 379) in 1794; one of them had a late medieval misericord showing two wyverns fighting and two as supporters. (fn. 380) The stalls disintegrated and had been removed by c. 1840 (fn. 381) but the misericord survives; it is by the same hand as the four in Enville church (Staffs.). (fn. 382) The late medieval nave roof, lower pitched than its predecessor, had king posts. (fn. 383) Two plain chests were noted in 1912, one medieval, the other 16th- or 17th-century, but both were missing by 1983. (fn. 384)
The upper stage of the tower appears to have been rebuilt in the 17th century. In 1915 there were three bells, of 1657 (by John Martin), 1666, and 1754 (by Abel Rudhall). (fn. 385) In the 17th century a communion rail was made round three sides of the table. A 17th-century chair inscribed 'IH' stands in the chancel. In the nave carved doors were added to some of the benches, and a low box pew was made east of them on each side. A richly carved double seat, made in the 16th or earlier 17th century, stood against the north wall of the nave in 1737. It was probably the Cressett (of the Coates) seat, banished from the chancel c. 1623, (fn. 386) or a replacement of it. Above the seat a wooden aedicule, described c. 1840 as at the 'north end of the Coates pew', frames a carving of the Cressett arms. (fn. 387) There seems never to have been a west gallery. (fn. 388) Singers or musicians probably used the rear bench on the north side of the nave, as at Langley chapel; (fn. 389) a desk inscribed 'MC 1707' is fixed to the back of the next bench ahead. The royal arms on wood, dated 1753, (fn. 390) hang on the north wall of the nave. By 1793 the pulpit and communion table were described as new, and the church was ceiled over. There were then three pews in the chancel. (fn. 391)
The west end of the nave, unoccupied in 1793, (fn. 392) was later partitioned off as a schoolroom. The church was restored and repewed 1854-5 under the supervision of a Mr. Davies. (fn. 393) The ancient nave pews seem merely to have been refurbished. It was probably during the later 19th century that the communion rail was altered to span the chancel. The church was restored 1894-5 by St. Aubyn & Wadling: a chancel arch was inserted, windows renewed, the ceilings taken down, new roofs and porch built, and the western partition (latterly enclosing a vestry) removed. (fn. 394) It was probably then that the Cressett seat was moved to the south side of the nave. (fn. 395)
The churchyard contains the remains of a medieval cross; above the base only the top of the shaft and part of the cross remain, upside down and with a sundial of 1657 fixed on the broken end of the shaft.
Edward Cressett of the Coates was returned fit to be of the fifth Shropshire classis in 1647 (fn. 403) and there were four recusant families in 1673, but no nonconformists were reported in 1676 or 1767. (fn. 404)
At Brookhampton a room in William Peck's farmhouse was licensed for Methodists in 1804. (fn. 405) Wesleyans continued to meet at Brookhampton until 1817. (fn. 406) By 1828 there was regular Primitive Methodist preaching at Brookhampton, then in the Hopton Bank circuit. The society had eight members in 1831. (fn. 407) In 1850 and 1851 Brookhampton was the head of a mission within the Ludlow circuit; it covered seven other places and comprised c. 70 members. (fn. 408) In 1853 worship was twice every Sunday. (fn. 409) The class had 15 members in 1863. (fn. 410) By 1898 Brookhampton's Primitive Methodists belonged to the society at Stanton Long, (fn. 411) where a chapel had been built in 1880. (fn. 412) The Haynes family had been prominent ever since the 1830s. (fn. 413)
Probably from the early 19th century school was held in the west end of the church nave. (fn. 414) A church school, established as a dame school, opened in 1866. In 1876 Holdgate and Stanton Long National school, designed by F. R. Kempson, was built in red brick beside the church on land leased from the Revd. Henry Thursby-Pelham. (fn. 415) In 1876 fees were charged but 8 of the 40 pupils went free. The clergy sometimes taught the older pupils. Attendance averaged 31 in 1876. (fn. 416)
No teacher stayed long, and the school was understaffed by 1905; a young monitress taught the infants 1912-15. (fn. 417) There was never more than one schoolroom. Gardening was introduced before 1919. (fn. 418) In 1920-1, when attendance averaged only 21, the county council wished to close the school, (fn. 419) but the managers opposed it (fn. 420) and soon afterwards the neglected building was repaired. (fn. 421) In 1948 the school, with a roll of only 13, closed because it was impossible to obtain a permanent headmistress. (fn. 422) The building became a farm store. Pupils went to Diddlebury C.E. school, but from 1958 Holdgate children attended Brockton C.E. (Controlled) Primary school. (fn. 423)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
Robert Ellis of Earnstrey Park, (fn. 424) by will dated in or before 1652, gave a 10s. rent charge in Llanwyddelan parish (Mont.). The charity disappeared after 1820. (fn. 425) Several small capital sums, amounting to £14 10s. in 1671, yielded nothing by 1787 and the biggest, £5 given by Henry Fewtrell in 1661, had been lost. (fn. 425)