Great Hale is a village and civil parish in the North Kesteven District of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated on the B1394 road, immediately south from Heckington and 1.7 miles (2.7 km) north from Helpringham. The population in 2001, according to the UK census, was 626.
Great Hale, an ancient Kesteven parish, was in the Aswardhurn wapentake, and in the Sleaford poor law union and rural sanitary districts. From 1894 to 1931 it was part of Sleaford Rural District, and from 1931 to 1974, East Kesteven Rural District. Since 1974 it has been in the North Kesteven district. The parish originally incorporated both townships of Little Hale and Great Hale, but Little Hale became a separate civil parish in 1866. In 1935 it gained part of the ancient parish of Bicker in the Holland part of Lincolnshire.
The church of St John the Baptist is at the centre of the village. The church tower is late Saxon and pre-dates the Norman Conquest by approximately 100 years The church contains memorials to past residents, and historical items such as a hautbois, an early form of oboe. The ecclesiastical parish is includes both Great and Little Hale.
Lincolnshire is very low-lying and land had to be drained for agriculture to be successful. The larger drainage channels, many of which are parallel to each other, became boundaries between parishes. Many parishes are long and thin for this reason.
There is much fenland in Lincolnshire, particularly in the Boston and Horncastle areas. Fenlands tended to be extraparochial before the mid 1850s, and although many sections were identified with names and given the title "civil parish", little information has been found about them. Many appear to be abolished in 1906, but the parish which adopts them is not given in A Vision of Britain through Time. Note the WR category Lincolnshire Fenland Settlements which is an attempt to organize them into one list.
From 1889 until 1974 Lincolnshire was divided into three administrative counties: Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Parts of Lindsey. These formal names do not fit with modern grammatical usage, but that is what they were, nonetheless. In 1974 the northern section of Lindsey, along with the East Riding of Yorkshire, became the short-lived county of Humberside. In 1996 Humberside was abolished and the area previously in Lincolnshire was made into the two "unitary authorities" of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The remainder of Lincolnshire was divided into "non-metropolitan districts" or "district municipalities" in 1974. Towns, villages and parishes are all listed under Lincolnshire, but the present-day districts are also given so that places in this large county can more easily be located and linked to their wider neighbourhoods. See the WR placepage Lincolnshire, England and the smaller divisions for further explanation.