Located south of the River Tyne in the county of Northumberland, the historic market town of Hexham, has several notable buildings within its boundaries, including Hexham Abbey. There has been a place of Worship on this site since AD 674, when a Benedictine Abbey was founded by Saint Wilfred. Since then it has changed use from an Augustinian Priory to its present day place of Christian worship.
Now a parish church, some remnants of its architectural past remain, with the Saxon crypt and apse from Saint Wilfred’s Abbey still intact, and much of the remainder of the church dating back to 1170-1250. Additions to the building include a new east end and nave in 1908, and Saint Wilfred’s Chapel which was built in 1996.
The church is open daily to visitors, who are welcome to attend services and events, or explore the church outside of these times. There is also a Hexham Abbey shop stocking gifts, calendars, fine art collections and music, with funds supporting the Abbey.
Services are held regularly on Sundays/mid-week, and there’s also a lively program of youth groups, a tea room open during the summer, 3 choirs, bell ringers, and several social groups all active in the church. Outside of the choir and bell ringing activities, music events also play an important part of life at the Abbey, with ‘Music In The Abbey’ scheduled in spring, and the Hexham Abbey Music Festival held each September/October.
Group visits and guided tours are currently available for tourists, with future projects being planned to introduce new educational facilities to the abbey, and restore some of the nearby medieval buildings. These future plans will help ensure the unique history of the Abbey is a story that will be told to visitors long into the future.