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Holt: An Historic Market Town

Holt is a popular Georgian town which is situated in the heart of rural North Norfolk and is surrounded by the scenic coastlines of Blakeney, Holkham and Kelling. The name Holt is thought to derive from the Saxon word meaning woodland, and there are still many wooded areas surrounding the town today.

Holt makes its first historical appearance in the Domesday Book of 1086, where the small town is described as a “thriving viable settlement” and indeed it was. Holt increased in size and grew as a place of trade and commerce throughout the medieval period. The main source of trade and work came from the large outdoor market which took place regularly for 900 years until 1960. 

In 1708 on the 1st May the picturesque medieval town was hit by a tragic fire which raged throughout Holt destroying the town in just three hours. The fire caused irreplaceable damage to the town and it's Norman church and it wasn’t until Holt received donations from across the country, could they begin the mammoth task of rebuilding. However, one of the buildings to escape the fire was the Gresham Free Grammar School which was founded in 1555 by Sir John Gresham. This beautiful institute of education still stands at the centre of the Holt community today.

With almost all of the medieval buildings destroyed in the fire, the town was rebuilt reflecting the fashion of the time. The new Georgian Holt was just as impressive and once again thrived as a tourist attraction as well as a fully functional market town.

Holt as we know it today is no longer a market town, but still holds onto its old world charm, despite the arrival of modern business and the expansion of shopping yards. Holt now boasts an array of unique and unusual shops and Boutiques. From clothes to books and antiques to art galleries. The famous Byfords is also just a stones throw away from The Tannery and is a lovely place to eat and stay. Holt also hosts a spectacular summer festival and a beautiful Christmas light switch on.

Holt is a lovely place to take a leisurelyshopping day and we are pleased to be part of the shopping experience. The Tannery for Women and The Tannery for Men are both situated on Bull Street, which is at the very heart of Holt town centre.

Shopping in Holt

Holt has been serving the needs of the North Norfolk community for hundreds of years. Its attractive buildings house a variety of small businesses and shops that continue to serve local needs as well as those living further afield who come to enjoy a pleasant shopping experience. If you are seeking a relaxed stroll around a variety of independent shops and enjoy a good coffee and a meal then this is the place for a perfect day out.

We hope that you will come and see us on Bull Street, just down the road from Byfords.  Click Contact Us to see the map.