Bank holiday Monday sees us on our way north to beautiful Northumberland, Staying at the “George Hotel” Chollerford on the North Tyne River, situated approximately four miles (seven km) to the north of Hexham.
Hexham’s architectural landscape is dominated by Hexham Abbey. The current church largely dates from c.1170–1250, in the Early English Gothic a style of architecture. The choir, north and south transepts and the cloisters, where canons studied and meditated, date from this period. The east end was rebuilt in 1860.
The Abbey stands at the west end of the market place, which is home to the Shambles a Grade II* covered market built in 1766 by Sir Walter Blackett
At the East end of the market place stands the Moot Hall, a c15 gatehouse that was part of the defences of the town. The Moot Hall is a Grade I listed building, and was used as a courthouse until 1838. The Moot Hall now houses the Council offices of the Museums Department, though not open to the public any relevant enquiries can be made on the first floor. The ground floor is an art gallery open to hire.
The Old Gaol, behind the Moot Hall on Hallgates, was one of the first purpose built jails in England. It was built between 1330-3 and is a Grade I listed Scheduled Monument. It was ordered to be built by the Archbishop of York. The building is now home to the Old Gaol museum which informs the visitor about the how the prisoners were kept at this time and how they were punished. There is also information concerning the local families of time, such as the Charlton and Fenwick families who still have descendants living in the area. There are many different displays in the museum of interest to the whole family. The museum also contains the Border History Library, where people are free to visit to research their family history.
Hexham Library can be found in the Queen’s Hall. It contains the Brough Local Studies Collection which is the second largest local history collection in the county.