Former Holt mill cleared for new supermarket

Thaxters of Holt is reduced to rubble to make way for a new budget supermarket. Picture: KAREN BETHE

Thaxters of Holt is reduced to rubble to make way for a new budget supermarket. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

For more than a century it has dominated the approach into one of north Norfolk's most beloved towns.

Thaxters wood merchants, Holt.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Thaxters wood merchants, Holt.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Now the demolition of the former Thaxters timber merchants has changed the landscape of Holt forever –paving the way for a new supermarket.

Following months of delays, work to build an Aldi store on the site at Old Station Way started again last month.

The now-rapid progress means that the land, next to the A148 bypass, is almost prepped and ready to begin the 24-week project to complete the store and car park.

Before the building was lost to history altogether, developer Tim Schofield, of Norwood Homes, carried out a detailed Historic Building Recording.

He said: 'It's always been important for us to preserve the history of the building.

'We've taken photos of the inside and we've recorded what we know about it.

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'This is a public document that will be kept on file.'

The report estimates that the three-storey building was built shortly after 1886, and although it does not show on an Ordinance Survey map of Norfolk between 1879 and 1886, the method of brick construction used places it around that time.

The report also revealed that it was used for a variety of purposes over the past 100 years.

Originally a flour warehouse at around the turn of the 19th century, farm produce would have been stored there prior to the goods being loaded onto trains for transportation on the Midland and Great Northern Railway.

In the early 1950s it was used as a seed merchants storage and sale premises.

Then in the late 1960s it was purchased by the Florida Shoe Company, later taken over by Start-rite Shoes.

The last occupants of the premises purchased the building in 1989 and operated Thaxters timber merchants from there until earlier this year.

Work on the new Aldi store is due to be completed by summer 2016, bringing up to 50 new jobs to the town. Shoppers will also be given three hours free parking on the site.

For the full record contact the Norfolk Historic Environment Service on 01362 860528.

To view a photo gallery of the final photos from inside the building visit