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Somerset Historic Environment Record

43239

Site Name: Church of St James and churchyard, Halse
Civil Parish: Halse
Comprises:
PRN 18186War Memorial, Churchyard of St James, Halse
Grid Ref: ST 1399 2774 (ST 12 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 43239 - Photo by Somerset County Council (March 1977)
  HER 43239 - Photo by Somerset County Council (March 1977)

Public access:

As far as we are aware this site is open to the public at certain times. [Information last updated on 10 December 2002]

Details:

Halse Church. The date of the present building is uncertain, and the style of its Saxon predecessor is unknown. The "only possible traces of a Saxon building being in the rude lintels of the outer and inner doorways". The building of the present church.."took place at some period between the Conquest and the reign of Henry I". C15 alterations included the addition of the W tower. One of the arches described as Saxon might belong to almost any age. {1}

Halse church is dedicated to St James. {2}

Norman S doorway. Plain W tower of C13-C14. The masonry of the chancel may also be C13. Otherwise mostly Perpendicular. The church is still in use. A notice in the church confirms the dedication as that to St James. There is no evidence, architectural or otherwise of the existence of a Saxon church. The Domesday survey does not mention a church here. Inside the church is a list of incumbents from about 1180. In the porch of the church are two stones representing the bottom part of a cross shaft. One piece measures 0.3m by 0.15m in section and is 0.65m long. The other has the same section but is 0.9m long. Placed back to back the fragments would form the bottom part of a cross shaft, complete with tenon, with a section of 0.3m. The decoration on the exposed faces consists of vertical moulding and mutilated human figures Elaborately carved crosses seen elsewhere in this region have usually been ascribed to the C15. The Liber Regis gives the dedication as St James the Less. It is possible, however, that the Hospitallers added a second dedication to St John the Baptist Later. St James the Less would appear to be the correct dedication. {3}

Graveyard in use since at least medieval times. {4}

Norman south doorway. Plain west tower of C13-14. Chancel masonry also possibly C13, rest of church Perpendicular. {5}

Two plaques on a wooden backboard commemorates two brothers, one killed in WWI and one in Dublin. The plaques are ornamented with a coat of arms, two cercelee crosses and other emblems. {6}

Scratch dial on outside wall of church. {7}

References:

1 Mention - Anon. Halse church. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History  54 (1908), 52-57
2 Mention - Collinson, J 1791 "History of Somerset" vol 3, 528
3 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1965 ST12NW12 (SCC Planning Department)
4 Verbal communication - Aston, M Somerset County Council 04.08.77
5 Mention - Pevsner, N. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. (1958) 187-8
6 Data transfer - National Inventory of War Memorials. Record ID: 24948
7 Correspondence - Gaithwaite, J. to SCC (20/08/1982)

Record created in January 1986

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