Hales and Heckingham villages have a population of 622 in 245 households and the parish covers an area of 3.6 square miles (2011 national census).
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hales like this:
“HALES, a parish in Loddon district, Norfolk; 2½ miles SW by S of Loddon, and 4¾¾ NW of Beccles r. station. Post town, Loddon, under Norwich. Acres, 980. Real property, £1, 978. Pop., 315. Houses, 75. The property is divided among a few. Hales Hall is a chief residence. The living is a vicarage, united with Heckingham, in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £63. Patron, Sir W. B. Smyth, Bart. The church is Norman, with early English alterations; has a round tower; exhibits quaint and elaborate details; and is in good condition.”