Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Hexham Abbey (Hexham)

The Priory Church of St. Andrew, sometimes erroneously known as Hexham Abbey, stands beside the Market Place in the historic old town of Hexham in Northumberland.

The Priory was founded by the great but controversial St. Wilfrid, Bishop of York, in 674, on land given to him by St. Etheldreda, the Queen of Northumbria and founder of the monastery at Ely.

There was a short period, between 681 and 821 when there were Bishops of Hexham.

Below the present church, built by Augustinian canons in the 13th century, is the original crypt built by Wilfrid. It is one of two crypts built by Wilfrid to survive, the other being at Ripon Cathedral.

Also in the Priory can be seen the 7th century St. Wilfrid's Throne, later used as a sanctuary stool, St. Acca's Cross, set up in 740, and the Night Stair.

The nave was destroyed in an invasion by the Scots in 1290, and was not rebuilt until 1908.

The present wall facing the Market Place was built by John Dobson of Newcastle and completed in 1860.

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