8 of the Oldest Sites to Visit in the North East

THIS listicle will explore some of the oldest and most fascinating historical sites which are waiting to be discovered by anyone visiting or living in the North East. 
  1. Egglestone Abbey

Credit: @barneyrephotography via Instagram

South-East of Barnard Castle, the Abbey was built around 1168-1198 by Premonstratensians who then became the White Canons. Like monks, they followed a code of austerity, and chose the location due to the nearby River Tees and supply of rocks with which they built the Abbey. If you’ve already visited the neighbouring Castle, perhaps a journey to the Abbey will further your appreciation for the region’s history.

Follow the link for more info – https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/egglestone-abbey/history/

  1. Alnwick Castle

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First erected in 1096, Alnwick Castle has a rich history of being besieged and captured by the likes of King David I of Scotland and King William I of Scotland. Nowadays it is perhaps more well known for being the site for Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. The sumptuous history and intriguing ancient architecture makes for a great family day out in Northumberland.

Follow the link for more info – https://www.alnwickcastle.com/

  1. Newcastle Cathedral

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An infamous part of the city, the Cathedral is accessible to the public for those who wish to worship or simply to explore the grand history of the building and Newcastle itself. It was founded in 1091 although, having been heavily damaged by fire, was completed in 1351 and ever since has remained an important part of the North East’s encapsulating past.

Follow the link for more info – https://newcastlecathedral.org.uk/visit/

  1. Newcastle Castle

Credit: @ournorthumberland via Instagram        Credit: Glen Rae – @generalsnaps via Instagram

This enchanting structure dates back to 1080 and to William the Conqueor who sent his son to what was then known as Monkchester. His son then built a ‘new castle’ which was a wooden tower on a mound of earth, giving the city its name. The castle was also involved in the civil war when, in 1644, the Scots captured it for 3 months, as well as being used as a prison in the 17th and 18th century. Explore all the different rooms and learn the entire history of how the city of Newcastle came to be what it is today.

Follow the link for more info – https://www.newcastlecastle.co.uk/

  1. Hexham Abbey

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First built in 674 AD, the Abbey was constructed from salvaged Roman ruins, some of which still remains today. However, in 875 the Abbey was burned down by Halfdene, a Viking leader and former King of Northumbria who devastated the entirety of Tyneside. It was then rebuilt in Norman times (c. 1170-1250) with the Early English style of architecture that we can see in the Abbey today. It is well worth the trip to Hexham for an experience and lesson that will stay with you forever.

Follow the link for more info – https://www.hexhamabbey.org.uk/

  1. Arbeia Fort

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Founded around 160 AD, Arbeia was used by the Romans to guard the main sea route to Hadrian’s Wall. Further down the line it was also home to Roman Emperor Septimus Severus whilst he planned a s Scottish Invasion as well as being the birthplace of Northumbrian King Oswin. With now fully reconstructed Roman buildings and discoveries visitors can submerge themselves in an ancient world that just may change your perception of the local area as you know it.

Follow the link for more info – https://arbeiaromanfort.org.uk/

  1. Hadrian’s Wall

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Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans in 122 AD under the reign of Emperor – you guessed it – Hadrian, to mark the border between Roman Britannia and Caledonia as well as a defensive structure. It stretches 73 miles from the east coast to the west coast with forts built every 5 miles or so. Along the wall there are ample photo opportunities such as the sycamore gap as well as over 20 captivating ancient sites to become immersed in.

Follow the link for more info – https://hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/

  1. Temple of Mithras

Credit: @thesilicontribesman via Instagram

The Temple of Mithras was built by Roman soldiers around 200 AD to worship the Roman God Mithras. It is said that Mithra is the angelic divinity of covenant, light and oath as well as being an all-seeing protector of truth. Whilst the altars currently there are replicas, the originals may be found at The Great North Museum. They were devoted by officers of the First Cohort of Batavians from the Rhineland and remain a fascinating site for visitors.

Follow the link for more info – https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/temple-of-mithras-carrawburgh-hadrians-wall/

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