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Hadrians Wall

Hexham

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Hexham is a Market Town 41 miles east of Carlisle, 23 miles west of Newcastle, just off the A69 road, 6 to 12 miles from some of the top attractions on Hadrian's Wall. Markets are normally Tuesday and Saturday.

Attractions in the Town include the Town Centre Park, Abbey, and Old Jail Museum.

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The image top is looking down Beaumont Street towards the Town Centre, Abbey, and Market Place.

The Building on the right is Hexham Community Church, and Statue 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.

The second image is from Beaumont Street to the entrance of Hexham Park. This is a large scenic Park with Bowling, Kids Play, and Hexham House built from 1723, now used for Weddings and Accommodation. The two Wings on either side of the House were added later.

The earliest parts of Hexham Abbey are from 674, mainly built with stone from Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Bridge at Chesters Fort about 6 miles north. The Abbey is Free to visit inside with a number of Tombs 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.

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Hexham Market is in front the Abbey. The narrow Market Street is down to the left 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

There is normally a Market every Tuesday and Saturday, and Farmers Market every second and fourth Saturday in each month. Hexham Market Page

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 Old Jail Museum, or Old Gaol, is claimed to be the oldest purpose-built Prison in England from 1330. The Museum covers Weapons of the Day, Family Feuds, Battles, and Treatment of Prisoners.

There are a number of narrow Scenic Streets in the Town Centre such as St Mary's Chare and Old Church Lane.

Hexham History

400s - the Roman's returned to Europe with much of the stone from Hadrian's Wall along the Border with Scotland taken for buildings in Towns or Farms.

Saxons from Germany soon began moving into England, with their integration with the English leading to them being known as Anglo Saxons.

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

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

1296 - Hexham was attacked by William Wallace and his forces during the First War of Scottish Independence, seeing considerable damage to the Town.

1312 - The next invasion by the Scots, led by Robert the Bruce, saw the people of Hexham pay £2,000 to be spared further damage.

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.

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 between the York's and Lancaster's over who should be the next King of England. Around 30 Lancastrian prisoners were executed the following day at Hexham Market, including their Commander, the Duke of Somerset.

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.

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.

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 Cafe / Restaurant named Hextol Tans.

Today - Hexham is one of the top attractions in the north of England, a popular base to explore Hadrian's Wall and Forts that are about 6 to 12 miles north, east and west.

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