Halse, Somerset

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Reddish stone building with square tower.
St James' Church
Halse is located in Somerset
Location within Somerset
Population290 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST140279
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTAUNTON
Postcode districtTA4
Dialling code01823
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°02′39″N 3°13′39″W / 51.0441°N 3.2276°W / 51.0441; -3.2276Coordinates: 51°02′39″N 3°13′39″W / 51.0441°N 3.2276°W / 51.0441; -3.2276

Halse is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated 6 miles (9.7 km) north west of Taunton in the Somerset West and Taunton district. The village has a population of 290.[1]


The name of the village derives from the Old English heals meaning a neck of land.[2]

The parish of Halse was part of the Williton and Freemanners Hundred.[3]

After the Norman Conquest the manor was granted to Robert Arundel who subsequently gave it to the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem in 1152, who held it through Buckland Priory in Durston until the dissolution of the monasteries.[2]


The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.

The village falls within the non-metropolitan district of Somerset West and Taunton, which was established on 1 April 2019. It was previously in the district of Taunton Deane, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and part of Taunton Rural District before that.[4] The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.

Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.

It is also part of the Taunton Deane county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Religious sites[edit]

The village is served by a Norman church of St James the Less.[5]

Notable residents[edit]

Author and scriptwriter Jonathan Morris lived in the village from 1975 to 1993.


  1. ^ a b "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The Complete Guide. Dovecote Press. p. 110. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
  3. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Tainton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Church of St James". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 17 October 2008.

External links[edit]