The Half Moon Inn
A Whole World Apart
The Half Moon is the longest established inn in the parish of Clayhidon. The first records show a licence was granted to Thomas Salter in 1787. Next to St Andrews church, it was probably built originally as a cottage for stone masons to live in while they built the church in the 13th Century, and this ecclesiastical connection has continued in a totally unique way.
At some stage two cottages were converted into one. But the original path between them is still a church right of way into St Andrews. The open archway was covered in during the 1850’s so a function room could be built across it, but until 1917 the pathway through the arch was the only way to the church.
Now there are two other entrances and the one through the middle of the pub is only used once a year, with a church procession on Rogation Sunday.
The function room has been the centre of parish life and was used for annual harvest suppers until the school closed and became a parish hall.
The Half Moon hit the headlines in 1993 when it sold its former outdoor toilets for conversion to a dwelling house. Agents called it the loo with a view, as it looked over the car park to the valley beyond from the other side of the road. A 250 year old former cobblers house, it is now a house again.
The Blackdown Hills is an almost secret area with a very precious and unique landscape. Few people realise the extent of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where narrow lanes are virtually hist orical monuments dating back centuries.
The area is a Mecca for walkers & cyclists with several routes leading from and too the pub including a delightful circular walk down into the wooded Culm Valley. A short hop down the road brings you to the famous Wellington Monument and the wide moors at Culmstock Beacon offer fantastic walks and panoramic views across the Blackdown Hills.
It straddles the Devon/Somerset border and the M5 and A303 skirt the north and south which has allowed the area to remain largely unspoilt.
The Blackdowns AONB is surrounded by towns with Wellington in the north the nearest to Clayhidon. The County town of Somerset, Taunton, is around 7 miles away.
The area is an agricultural plateau dotted with villages and hidden valleys such as the Culm Valley which is overlooked by the Half Moon’s garden.
Clayhidon is one of the largest parishes in Devon, some seven miles long and three wide. Although hidden away it is central to reach all the attractions and amenities of The Quantock Hills, Exmoor, the Mendips with Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole, Yeovilton Air Museum, National Trust properties such as Montacute House and Killerton House. The city of Exeter is half an hour’s drive with Dartmoor beyond.
- Monday Closed
- Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 – 15:00 then 18:00 – 23:00
- Food Served 12:00 – 14:00 then 18:00 – 21:00pm
- Sunday 12:00 – 16:00
- Food Served 12:00 – 14:30