Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where did that hour go?

While visiting the north of England in 2008, we stayed with two of R's three sisters but also one sister had a caravan at the country village of Hexham. I adored Hexham and loved staying there. Out of the blue today I recalled a building I liked in Hexham that straddled Cockshaw Burn. I found it using Google Maps Street View. We walked and drove past it many times during our stays there. I thought it might have been some kind of old mill house, but seems not.

Ah yes, the entrance must be on the other side of the creek. Let me check. I think so but no street view. I will look at satellite coverage.  Oh, let me look at the caravan park where we stayed. Ah, this house sitting above the caravan park. Oh look, there is a photo of Hexham Gaol, quite modern really, constructed in 1330.

Why is there a horrible modern clock on the tower? I am looking, looking. No stupid. The clock is on Hexham Abbey, not the gaol. The clock still looks modern. Further investigation, no, the clock was added in 1821. The face looks blue in some photos but white in others. Why would a clock face be blue? Apparently many church clocks in England are blue. Why? It was a hard colour to come by in centuries past, so it indicated wealth.

Further links popped up. How has the opening of Tescos affected local business? Not as badly as was thought.

Ah, voted the most popular market town in England.

Tory MP for Hexham has a blog. He is banging on about parking fees in Hexham.

Right, a property site tells which are the best Hexham streets to live in.
Hmm, a train every half hour to Newcastle, every hour to Carlisle. A frequent bus service to Newcastle.

I didn't really find out about the house I was originally curious about and why it straddled the burn but I enjoyed the education.

Air con units now sit on the exterior of the property that weren't there in 2008, but at the other end.

Would you like to see the abbey? This photo by Steven Fruitsmaak, so much better than my own. I still think the clock looks odd and out of place.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, that clock seems completely out of place. Off with its face!

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    1. Victor, I have only just noticed big differences in when some of the abbey was built compared to the rest.

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  2. I agree that Hexham is lovely. The abbey looks to have gone though some restoration. Perhaps if the blue clock face was a bit more weathered it wouldn't pop out quite so much.
    That said, blue clock faces on churches is common and traditional. I think (although I'm not sure) that this goes back to Henry VIII.

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    1. Craig, pretty much like I learnt about blue clocks. Have you visited Hexham?

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  3. The clock does look a little out of place, perhaps if it had weathered, like Craig said, it wouldn't stand out so much.

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    1. River, rather like they went to Big W and bought a big clock and stuck it onto the abbey.

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  4. It sounds like this trip made a big impact Andrew, was it your first visit to ye olde England? Paris has the same effect on me :) Sounds like blue is the go for church clocks, I wish when I was there I'd taken more notice..

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    1. Yes Grace, first trip. I did not expect to love it so much, but I did. It felt like home.

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