|South east of Caundle Marsh there lies Holwell
village which consists of two separate settlements, Barnes Cross mainly
19th century is in the south and where can be found Britain's oldest post
box that is still in use. It was made by John M Butt & Co of
Gloucester c 1853-56 and has the cipher of Queen Victoria on it.
The box stands about five feet high and is octagonal and each side
is fluted, there is a vertical as opposed to the more modern
horizontal slot for posting of letters and it is very narrow.
The original settlement was mediaeval and sat on the banks of the river and there was a church and an 18th century rectory along with a thatched stores and inn on the cross roads by Crouch Hill, it was known locally as The Borough.
The church dedicated to St Lawrence is in a road to itself and is dated back to the Saxon times, though today's church is from around 1480 and restored in 1885 but there is not much to interest the visitor there.
King John is thought to have had a hunting lodge at Holwell House which was replaced by an Elizabethan house and has had a lot of alterations done to it. Local folklore says that while Henry III was out hunting in the vicinity he found 'a beautiful and goodly white hart' and he was so moved by it that he spared its life and decreed that nobody else on the hunt would harm it. A while later this white hart was found by Sir Thomas de la Lynde, who was the Bailiff of Blackmore Forest at the time and after a chase he finally caught up and slew it at the foot of an old stone bridge which lies east of the village and crosses the river to what is now known as Kings Stag.
The King was informed and he became outraged and had Sir Thomas and his hunting party seized and thrown into prison as well as fining them heavily, he also laid a tax upon the land that Sir Thomas had trod. And for many years thereafter 'white hart silver' was paid by squire and yeoman to the exchequer and the Vale of Blackmore became known as the Vale of the Whit Hart. In Wootton Glanville church there in the floor tiles is a picture of a stag hunt and the stone figure in the church is reputed to be the bailiff.