High Littleton

High Littleton and its hamlets Hallatrow and Amesbury are located in the county of Somerset and straddle both the A39 and A37, 8 miles from Bath, 12 miles from Wells and 10 miles from Bristol. It are also near the villages of Clutton, Temple Cloud and Timsbury.

There is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School (4-11 years) in the Village, several pubs and shops.


There is evidence of settlement at High Littleton since Saxon times in the late 7th or 8th century. They called it Lytel tun. Hallatrow may have been much older.

In the Domesday Survey of 1086, each village covered an area of about 600 acres. In early times the villages would have been almost entirely farmed, mostly arable farming but with a mixture of dairy farming and sheep raising.

According to Robinson it is listed in the 1086 Domesday Book as Liteltone meaning 'The little enclosure' from the Old English lytel and tun. The property was owned by the Bishop of Coutances and sub-let to a tenant named as Ralph Rufus.


Coal mines were established in the villages by 1633 because on the Somerset coalfield the coal seams ran obliquely to the surface. The first deep mine in the parish was Mearns Coalworks which began in 1783. By 1800 the population had grown to about 800, however many of these may have worked in mines outside the parish. The Greyfield Coal Company did not start until 1833. It received a boost with the opening of the Bristol and North Somerset Railway in 1873. Greyfield Colliery closed in 1911 and the railway in 1964.


Hallatrow railway station was an important station on the Bristol and North Somerset Railway, and the junction for the branch line to Camerton, which opened in 1882 and which was later extended eastwards along the line of the former Somerset Coal Canal to a junction at Limpley Stoke with the line from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon railway station.

In addition to its role as a junction Hallatrow was also an important goods depot, receiving milk from local farms, printed materials from Purnells' factory at Paulton and local coal. The station closed when the Bristol and North Somerset line closed to passenger traffic in 1959; goods services were withdrawn in 1964 and the last train ran in 1968.

Government and politics

High Littleton is a ward represented by one councilor on the Bath and North East Somerset Unitary Authority which has responsibilities for services such as education, refuse, tourism etc. The village is a part of the Wansdyke constituency, which will become North East Somerset at the next general election and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament.


According to the 2001 Census the High Littleton Ward, had 1,322 residents, living in 490 households, with an average age of 40.7 years. Of these 73% of residents describing their health as 'good', 20% of 16-74 year olds had no qualifications; and the area had an unemployment rate of 1.4% of all economically active people aged 16-74. In the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2004, it was ranked at 31,729 out of 32,482 wards in England, where 1 was the most deprived LSOA and 32,482 the least deprived.


The church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity is an ancient stone edifice with a tower. It contains monuments of the Mogg and Hodge families dating back to the 15th century. On 15 July 1310 the advowson of the church at High Littleton was given to the abbey by Gilbert Aumery, and Bishop Drokensford sanctioned its appropriation by the abbey in 1322, but the royal license is dated 1328. In 1322 the bishop approved the appropriation of the church of High Littleton to Keynsham, because of the losses which the abbey had sustained in the floods, rain, and murrain in its lands in Ireland and Wales, and in its loss of the tithes of Chewstoke The church is a Grade II listed building with monuments in the churchyard listed themselves ()

The church is now run by the vicar of Holy Trinity Church Paulton creating the joint benefices of Paulton, High Littleton and Farrington Gurney, due to the vicar of High Littleton retiring.

Further information and pictures of this church are available from:


The parish has several fine houses still existing: The Grange, Hallatrow is dated 1669 and High Littleton House was built by Thomas Hodges around 1710.

Grade II listed buildings

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Famous residents

Previous residents include William Smith (1769-1839), who traveled to Somerset, working first for Webb and later for the Somersetshire Coal Canal Company. The writer and broadcaster Alan Gibson lived in High Littleton and often referred to The Star public house in his cricket reports in The Times.


External links

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