Hallen is a village in South Gloucestershire, England, just north of the Bristol city boundary. It is southwest of Easter Compton, northeast of Avonmouth and northwest of Henbury. The village lies at the edge of the Severn floodplain, sandwiched between the M49 and M5 motorways. The word Hallen is old Saxon meaning the village or place of salt or is from the Welsh for salt, 'halen'.
For administrative purposes Hallen is a ward in the civil parish of Almondsbury, although it is some 5 miles from the village of Almondsbury. Historically it was in the large parish of Henbury, and was transferred to Almondsbury in 1935 when most of Henbury was absorbed into Bristol.
The Henbury Loop railway line passes the village to the south. When the line was opened in 1910 the village was served by Hallen Halt station, but the halt closed in 1915. The loop construction made a railway embankment along one side of the village. It was during the excavation that a natural water spring was blocked. This destroyed the watercress fields that used be a major income for the village.
A large underground petroleum storage facility was built into the hillside behind the village during World War II, to provide protection from German bombing. The facility is still in use today.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hallen was a popular stop off point for travellers making their way from the South West to the Aust ferry, which would cross the River Severn to Wales. There were three inns in the village, one with its own brewery. The brewery structure is still visible today attached to the last remaining pub, The King William IV.
However, Hallen also had a dark past. It was place where public hangings took place for poor condemned wretches and suspected homosexuals from Bristol. The field on the West side of the village was called the Gastons. It was at this place the last public hanging took place.
The village retains some old world charm in places (War Memorial and Oakhill Lane cottages), but has been bisected by the M5 motorway which has left it somewhat desolate.
Sport and leisure
Media related to Hallen, Gloucestershire at Wikimedia Commons
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