Holt Castle History Heritage Wrexham Council

Holt is one of many places in Wrexham County Borough with a wealth of history…

You may already know some of it, but there might just be something in here that you haven’t heard before.

We’d like to think that there’s an interesting snippet for everyone somewhere inside 🙂

So without further ado – here’s five interesting things about Holt…

1. Holt and the Romans 🙂

A very long time ago – AD49 to be precise, the Romans began their invasion of North Wales, and by AD79 they dominated North Wales from their fortress in Chester…

The Romans established a workshop in Holt which made tiles and pottery. Massive volumes were produced, with the peak period for this being between AD87 and AD135.

It’s fair to say that this mass manufacture was important to the Romans’ success in North Wales.

As an interesting side-note, discovery of a civilian settlement in Plas Coch, Wrexham, suggests that Wrexham’s origin lies somewhere in the Roman period (pottery and coins suggest between AD150-350).

Pretty cool, huh?


2. St Chad’s Church

This magnificent red sandstone church dates back to 1395.

The north door actually has loopholes for gun barrels dating back to the Civil War period of 1645. There’s also evidence to suggest a battle was fought inside the church.

The church is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside – particularly the stunning 15th century font.

In August, the ancient custom of ‘rushbearing’ is a big attraction, when new floor rushes from the banks of the River Dee are brought in procession, and the graves are ‘dressed’ with flowers.

3. Medieval bridge

A medieval bridge links Holt to the village of Farndon.

This distinctive red sandstone structure actually separates two countries…so if you want to hop the border, this would be a picturesque way of doing so.

It’s been an important border crossing point for centuries!

4. Holt Castle

Holt Castle was built between 1283 and 1311 by John de Warenne.

He built Holt Castle, also known as ‘Lion’s Castle’, to control a nearby strategic ford across the River Dee.

The castle was pentagonal, with five massive round towers surrounding the courtyard.

It has a storied history – details of which can be found on the council website.

Following a four-year restoration project, the remains of Holt Castle re-opened to the public in June 2015 🙂

5. Leigh Richmond Roose

And now something a little bit different 😉

One of Holt’s most famous son’s is Leigh Richmond Roose…

Leigh was a professional footballer who was born in Holt, and he started his career at Aberystwyth Town in 1895.

His position was goalkeeper, and he became famous around Wales for his crowd-pleasing antics 🙂

He’d turn his back on play to tell jokes to the fans, and he’d perform gymnastics on his crossbar while the ball was at the other end of the pitch.

He played for some pretty decent teams – including Stoke City, Everton, Sunderland, Celtic, Aston Villa and Woolwich Arsenal.

Sadly, Leigh died during the Battle of the Somme in October 1916…he was only 38 years old.

Leigh was featured in a BBC news article a few years ago.

Hopefully you’ve realised by now that Holt is a pretty interesting place 🙂

We’ll be featuring some other places around Wrexham County Borough in the coming weeks, so stay tuned 😉

We have to make even more cuts…and ask taxpayers for more money. But before we do anything, we want to know what you think.