Today, I achieved my objective of learning more about the Northumbrian town of Hexham which has a population of 13.100 and lies just 25 miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne and 6 miles south of Hadrian's Wall.
Despite proximity to the Wall the Hexham district was never settled by the Romans although nearby Corbridge was, being 4 miles to the east.
Hexham seems to date from the early Saxon period in the second half of the first millennium. The name translates as 'Warrior's Homestead' which is apposite because the early Saxon period was violent with multiple and competing mini-kingdoms often engaged in conflict.On the plus side this was a time of immigration from Germany, Holland and Scandinavia which proved a linguistic melting pot and emergence of the basic building block of the English language.
For persons who wish to connect with English ecclesiastic, cultural, and architectural history then a visit to Hexham Abbey is essential. This building is packed with artefacts (many unique) which enables the visitor to connect with nearly 1500 years of history. Christian worship continues here today under auspices of the Anglican Church. Because of the scale of the historic legacy available at Hexham Abbey I will provide a dedicated post within the next day or so.
One item in the Abbey which I will report on today is an incredibly well preserved stone memorial to a Roman officer named Flavinus who seems to have died in action in the 2nd century AD. At this time the enemy was collectively known as the Picts who occupied most of what is now Scotland.Despite having primitive weaponry and fighting attire the Picts were couragous fighters and proved a persistent threat to the super power of the day.
Former prison which was operational 1330-1824. Constructed from masonry recycled from nearby Roman site at Corbridge.
Moot Hall Gatehouse. This guarded the Hall of Archbishops of York for 500 years until, 1545.
Lawn Bowling Green
Overall, a very rewarding day.