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St James, Halse, Somerset

(51°2′35″N, 3°13′41″W)
ST 140 278
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
  • Robin Downes
19 May 2004, 26 January 2005

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Halse is a small, nucleated village in the Vale of Taunton Deane, some 6 miles NW of Taunton. The church consists of a nave with a S porch and a N aisle, a chancel with a N chapel, and a W tower. Construction is of red sandstone random rubble with hamstone dressings. The S doorway is 12thc, as is the font, but the church is largely 15thc apart from the N aisle which dates from 1546. The church was reseated and repaired by C. E. Ponting in 1900.


Halse was held by Roger Arundel in 1086, and by Aethelmaer before the Conquest. It was assessed at 4 hides, with 8 aces of meadow, 12 acres of woodland and 20 acres of pasture, as well as a mill. Roger was succeeded by Robert Arundel, who in 1152 gave the manor and the church to the Order of St John of Jerusalem, a gift later confirmed by Robert’s son Roger. It remained in the hands of the Hospitallers until 1540. The church was served by a chaplain c.1159, and a vicarage was ordained by 1188. The advowson was held by the priors of the order of St John.


Exterior Features




Loose Sculpture


Somerset County Council, Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 40171.

EH, English Heritage Listed Building 270361.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 187.

VCH, Victoria County History: Somerset, V, London 1985, 73-81.