Posted by: vikingsinspace | September 1, 2009

I. Hexham and the Anglo-Saxon Crypt

Date Accomplished: August 2009

Update [19 July 2009]: Because this page has garnered much interest, I have put added a new post concerning Anglo-Saxon buildings.  It can be viewed here.

Hexham Abbey is a special site because it contains a stone Anglo-Saxon crypt, built with re-used roman stones underneath the Abbey church.  Few Anglo-Saxon buildings survive survive to present, mostly because they didn’t usually to build in stone.

Hexham Gate house

Hexham Gate house

On a saturday last month, my girlfriend and I caught a train up to Hexham and followed a walk into the city centre. Hexham seemed to rest on the top of a hill. Once we reached the top, we passed the 14th century gaol, and passed through the gatehouse to enter the market place. We happened to arrive on a day when the farmer’s market was running, so we spent several minutes wandering the stalls, planning on picking up somethings before heading back (no sense doing right when we got there, otherwise we would have to carry things all over the place). After some more wandering and a relaxing lunch in the park, we headed into the Abbey.

Hexham Abbey Interior

Hexham Abbey Interior

A lunch time piano recital was taking place which was a pleasant surprise to walk in on. After the performance, we walked throughout the church, enjoying the beauty of the architecture and artwork within.  There are some fantastic 14/15th century paintings of the dance of death in the quire, along with some great Anglo-Saxon tomb-stones with carvings on them placed on the north side of the nave.

The entrance to the crypt was on the west end of the church, and as luck would have it, it was closed off, with a sign saying tours would only be given at 11am and 3pm. It was about 1pm at this point, and we had to catch the train back at 3. I decided to play dumb tourist and ask one of the caretakers when the crypt would be open. He asked if I had come to Hexham specifically to see the crypt, which of course I had! So this kind man weant ahead and let my girlfriend and I into the crypt, unsupervised, to have a look around.

I know very little about the crypt itself, but to just be around Anglo-Saxon ruins was fun. There were the mish-mosh of roman carved stones all over the place, including a few latin inscriptions. All in all, it was a great day, and I was glad to mark I.01.1.18 off my list.

Latin Inscription in Anglo-Saxon Crypt

Latin Inscription in Anglo-Saxon Crypt



  1. […] post to garner the most traffic is that on my trip to Hexham to visit the Anglo-Saxon crypt (See I. Visit Hexham and the Anglo-Saxon Crypt).  I have never advertised this site or sought to gain publicity and traffic for it, yet this one […]

  2. […] I. __ Hexam & the Anglo-Saxon Crypt […]

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