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The village of Halwell as seen from nearby Moreleigh
|Halwell shown within Devon|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||TQ9 7|
|Police||Devon and Cornwall|
|Fire||Devon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Halwell is a village, former parish and former manor in Devon, South West England. It is presently administered by the civil parish of Halwell and Moreleigh, itself administered by South Hams district council.
During the Saxon era Halwell was one of the four burhs, or fortified settlements, established in Devon by King Alfred the Great (d.899), King of Wessex from 871 to 899, to defend against invasion by Vikings. At that time the other three were Exeter, Pilton (near Barnstaple) and Lydford. Halwell had its own mint and issued its own coinage. According to the Burghal Hidage (an early 10th Century document describing all burhs then functioning), Halwell's town wall was 1,237 feet long and the garrison consisted of 300 men who could be drawn from the surrounding district in the event of an invasion. However by the close of the 11th century its status as a burh had been transferred to Totnes, 5 miles to the north and situated on the River Dart, probably because it was better placed for trade at a time when the Viking threat had diminished, after which the significance of Halwell greatly decreased.
- Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959 (first published 1954), p.104
- Hoskins, p.104
- Hoskins, p.104 "within a century" of the 10th century