Hexham, England

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.

Landscape view of Hexham

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.

Flavinus memorial inside Hexham Abbey

The Flavinus memorial survived the ravages of time, not to mention the British weather, because, for reasons which are unexplained, the item was removed from its position by the Saxons, turned upside down and used as a paving slab at the Abbey until discovered by the Victorians.
The Latin inscription on the memorial translates as "To the spirits of the departed, Flavinus, trooper of the cavalry regiment, Petriana standard bearer of the troop Candidus, aged 25, of seven years' service he lies here." Readers of yesterday's blog may recall reference to the elite Roman cavalry unit stationed at Petriana near Carlisle.

Moving on, I will now focus on modern-day Hexham.

 Quaker Meeting House

 Snowdrops- an early sign of approaching Spring.

Market Place, Hexham

A market economy. One of the key drivers behind the British Empire and disemination of the English language around the world.

Interior of Hexham Abbey

Central Hexham

 Grapes Inn ( At least 160 years old)

Battle Hill. This relates to an action in 1464 during the Wars of the Roses.

 Community Church

Fore Street


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.

 Hexham Abbey

Lawn Bowling Green


Overall, a very rewarding day.


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