Hexham

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Hexham town is situated about 38 miles east of Carlisle, 21 miles west of Newcastle just off the A69 road.

The image below is looking down Beaumont Street towards the town centre, abbey, and market place.

The building on the right is the Hexham Community Church, and statue is of Lieutenant-Colonel George Elliott Benson who died at the Battle of Bakenlaagte, in South Africa during the Anglo Boer War.

There are a number of parking places down this street, but are often full.

Hexham Map . Hotels . B&Bs . Self Catering . Restaurants . Golf . Train Station .

Hexham Centre image

The image below is from Beaumont Street looking at Sele Park. This is a large scenic park with bowling, kids play and the Historic Hexham House.

Gardens Website . Hexham House Large Image .

Hexham Sele Park image

The image below is from Beaumont Street looking at the side of Hexham Abbey.

The earliest parts of this building are from 674, mainly built with stone from Hadrian's Wall, Roman Buildings, and the Roman Bridge at Chesters Roman Fort about 5 miles north. Free to visit inside.

The Abbey has a number of tombs throughout of famous people from the area.

The Abbey has served as the parish church of Hexham since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537, when Henry VIII disbanded Catholic monasteries so religious organizations would then pay him money rather than to the Pope in Rome, and follow his views on how religion should portrayed, the beginning of the Protestant religion in England.

Abbey Website . Wiki Page . Large Image . Large Interior Image .

Hexham Abbey side view image

The image below is from Hexham Market looking towards the front of Hexham Abbey. The narrow Market Street is down to the right in this image with a car park half way down. If this is full, the larger car park is down by the Wentworth Leisure Centre, with a bit of an uphill walk to this historic part of the town.

Market Street Image .

Hexham Abbey front image

The image below is of Hexham Market in front of the Abbey. There is a normally a market every Tuesday and Saturday, and farmers market every second and fourth Saturday in each month.

The street to the left is Hallstile Bank leading down to the largest car park at the Wentworth Leisure Centre.

The buildings behind the market are the Moot Hall and Old Jail Museum.

Hexham Market Page . Hallstile Bank Image .

Hexham Market image

The image below is of Hexham Old Jail Museum, or Old Gaol, claimed to be the oldest purpose-built prison in England from 1330.

The museum covers weapons of the day, family feuds, battles, and the treatment of prisoners.

Hexham Old Gaol Museum .

Hexham Museum Old Jail image

The image below is of Fore Street in Hexham centre looking towards the market place. This is one of a number of scenic streets in the town centre for cafes and shopping such as large stores and small local businesses.

The most scenic street is probably St Mary's Chare and Old Church lane image.

Fore Street Hexham image

Hexham History

Hexham originated after a monastery was built for Saint Wilfrid in 674, with much of the stonework believed to have been taken from Hadrian's Wall and Roman buildings.

The Romans had abandoned the area around the year 383, leading to the Saxons from Germany gaining control of the area, along with most of England.

In 788. Elfwald, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by the Anglo-Saxon nobleman named Siga. King Elfwald is buried in Hexham Abbey.

Hexham was attacked by William Wallace and his forces during the War of Scottish Independence in 1297, seeing considerable damage to the town.

The next invasion by the Scots, led by Robert the Bruce in 1312, saw the people of Hexham pay £2000 to be spared further damage.

In 1346, during the second War of Scottish Independence, the town and abbey were extensively damaged by the forces of King David II of Scotland, son of Robert the Bruce.

In 1464, the Battle of Hexham took place on the south of town during the Wars of the Roses, a civil war in England from 1455 to 1485. Around 30 Lancastrian prisoners were executed the following day at Hexham Market, including their commander, the Duke of Somerset.

In 1715, during the Jacobite Risings, an attempt to restore the Stuart's to the English throne, saw James Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater, raise the standard for James Francis Edward Stuart, known as The Old Pretender, in Hexham Market place.

After the failure of the rising, Derwentwater was captured and beheaded.

In 1761, the Hexham Riot began in the Market Place during protests about changes to serving in the militia. The protests getting out of control, let to troops from the North Yorkshire Militia opening fire.

It is claimed around 51 protesters were killed, leading to the Militia being referred to as The Hexham Butchers. The organizer of the protest, Peter Porter, was hung by the authorities soon after.

From the 1700s, Hexham became known for its leather trade, with the gloves known as Hexham Tans being their most known product.

There is a vegetarian restaurant on one of Hexham's oldest streets named St Mary's Chare, with the restaurant named Hexham Tans.

Today, Hexham is one of the top attractions in the north of England, and a popular base to explore Hadrian's Wall and Forts that are situated about 5 miles north.

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