- Features specially commissioned full-colour photography
- Provides a history of the Abbey and an overview of its medieval furnishings
Hexham Abbey, dedicated to St Andrew, is one of the earliest surviving Christian foundations in Britain. It was built in 674-8 as a Christian centre and place of pilgrimage by the formidable Wilfrid, bishop of York, and became a cathedral church during Wilfrid’s lifetime. The large and unusual seventh-century crypt and some fine Anglo-Saxon sculpture survives, but the church was damaged by Viking raiders in the ninth century and was refounded as an Augustinian priory in the 12th century. The rebuilding created an elegant example of the new Early English style, which served initially as both a monastic and a parish church and then as a parish church alone after the dissolution of the monasteries. In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was again substantially restored and rebuilt, to create the impressive and dignified building we see today.