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