Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Market Place (Hexham)

The Market Place in Hexham is the centre of commercial and social life in this outstanding old town.

On one side of this large open space is Hexham Abbey, and opposite is the Moot Hall.

In the Market Place itself is The Shambles, under which the market stalls are gathered on Market Day. It was erected in 1766.

The Duke of Somerset was executed in the Market Place in 1464, during the Wars of the Roses, after his Lancastrian forces had been defeated at the Battle of Hexham.

In 1761, the North Yorkshire Militia were called out to deal with a gathering of miners, who had been protesting about new recruitment laws. The militia opened fire, resulting in 50 deaths and 300 injuries. Later, an old man was hanged for his part in the demonstration, although he was later proved to have been out of town at the time.

Not surprisingly, the militia have been known ever since as "the Hexham Butchers".

The Temperley Memorial Fountain was set up in 1901, and has verses by the Hexham poet W. W. Gibson.

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