Hexham, a town with 2000 years of history,
"Not much has changed in the last 50 years."
The town has a population of about 10,000 peopleand is still a centre for farming in the North and South Tyne area. In spite of a wood chip factory across the river Tyne, the roads are busy but not congested thanks to a by pass that takes the through traffic between Carlisle and Newcastle.
The business section stays much the same, some additions of pedestrian areas, the major grocery stores have moved away from the town centre. Several large car parks are scattered around the centre, the trains and buses continue to service the area, maybe less frequently but it is still possible to visit the area using a combination of bus and train.
"Some changes for the better."
Fore street is one of the streets that is pedestrianised, thus making it safer for the shopper. Deliveries by truck may be restricted to certain times.
The shops have undergone some renewel and it looks like one is still being worked on.
I did notice that the town has greatly increased the number of containers for flowers and shrubs and I believe did receive an award for its efforts.
Robbs, a large department store apears to be still in business, I believe it may be owned by some other firm but in days long passed it was a family run business.
"Inside Hexham Abbey."
It must be 50 years since I was last inside the Abbey church, long before I had a camera let alone a digital one.
A short visit this time allowed for a few photos but no flash was permitted, so the photos are limited.
Hexham Abbey was originally built as Benedictine abbey by Wilfrid Bishop of York, he was given the land by Queen Ethelreda about the year 672.
From 681 the next 140 years the abbey was classed as a cathedral.
in 1113 the abbey was refounded as an Augustian priory, the shape and appearance are very like what is seen today.
In 1537 came the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the abbey becomes the parish church of Hexham, as it is today.
In 1860 the east end is rebuilt.
In 1908, the Nave was rebuilt.
I am indebted to the brochure available at the Abbey, for the historical information.
The front page shows Hexham Abbey
The Priory and Parish Chruch of St Andrew, Hexham.
The Night Stair dates from the 12th Centruy when the canons used the stairs going to the services from their sleeping quarters.
Long before the Abbey was built in the period 120 A.D. to about 400 A.D, the Romans defended this area of England, it was the Romans who built a defensive wall with mile camps across 73 mile of the land that joined England and Scotland. The Wall also know as Hadrian's Wall stretched from the North Sea at Wallsend to the east to Bowness on Solway in the west to the Irish Sea.
After the Romans returned to defend Rome, the wall became the source of building materials for many buildings in the area, including at least parts of the Abbey and other buildings in Hexham.
Remnants of the Roman Wall and 4 of the Camps and fortified location can be seen at Corbridge, 3 miles east of Hexham, The Chesters about 6 miles north of Hexham, then much further away there is a camp at Housesteads on a bleak escarpment , more like 15 miles fom Hexham, also to the west is Vindolanda, a Camp where excavations commenced in the 1970's. It is about 20 miles away and just north of a small village called Bardon Mill.
Vindolanda has an excellent museum showing the many and varied artifacts that have been found. These items include leather footwear in good condition, Jewelery, kitchen crockery, including a large container of plates and other kitchen articles that had been shipped from N France, only to be found broken when opened in Vindolanda, about 1900 years ago.
No flash photography was allowed in the Museum.