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The market town of Hexham is located in southern Northumberland, 25 miles west of Newcastle and outside the southern borders of the Northumberland National Park.
Most of the highlights and monuments are to be found in the buildings that line Hexham market square and the neighbouring streets. The medieval centre of Hexham is very rewarding to explore and has won several awards both for the attractions of the town itself and also 'Britain in Bloom' awards (eg apparently Country Life voted Hexham as England's favourite market town). There is also a full range of facilities: shops, pubs, restaurants etc. in Hexham
The most dominant building here is Hexham Abbey, dating from the 12th century although built on the site of an earlier monastery that dates from the 7th century - the original crypt, reputedly built with stone from Hadrian's Wall, can still be seen. The abbey is in the 'Early English' Gothic style. Although many abbeys fell to ruin after the 'Dissolution of the Monasteries' under Henry VIII in 1537, Hexham Abbey retained a role as the church for the town.
The Abbey grounds and park (next to the Abbey on Beaumont street) are a pleasant place for a stroll and also contain Hexham House.
Close to the abbey in Hexham is a 15th century gatehouse called the Moot Hall, while another interesting building is Hexham Goal, said to be the oldest prison in England and now a museum - the building itself was built for the Archbishop of York in the 1330's and is a sturdy stone construction with some decorative window carvings. The museum explains what prisons were like in the 14th century and also features various artefacts, many relating to conflicts and war and explaining the history of the region.
Map of Hexham and places to visit
Hexham places to visit
See more places nearby in the Northumberland guide