Hexham in Fiction, TV and Film

Hexham in Fiction, TV and Film

Novels and dramas set in or around Hexham and  Tynedale, listed alphabetically by the author’s surname. Click here for TV and Film.


Barmby, Beatrice Helen

Rosslyn’s raid, and other tales (1903). Adventures amongst the reivers.

Besant, Walter

Dorothy Forster (1884). Fictionalised story of real-life heroine of the 1715 Jacobite rebellion, buried in Blanchland.

Bradshaw, Gillian

Island of ghosts (1998). Set amongst Darmatian cavalry units of the Roman Army stationed at Corbridge.

Bramley, Zoe

The Night Stair: a Tudor ghost story (c2022)    A novella featuring Sir Reynold Carnaby who acquired the Abbey from Henry VIII following the Dissolution.    Published only on Amazon Kindle  

Breslin, Theresa

Across the Roman Wall (1997). Historical adventure for children.

Burn, Elspeth

Charles and the Fifteen (1968), Julian and the Wall (1968). Historical adventures for children.

Chapman, Margaret

The kiss of Kielder (1968). Romance.

Charlton, Lionel Evelyn Oswald

The camp at Auld Man Shiel (1948), The hut on Oh Me Edge (1949), The secret of the pele (1949). Children’s adventures.

Chisholm, P F

A famine of horses (1994), A season of knives (1996), A surfeit of guns (1997), A plague of angels (1998). Tudor mystery series featuring the historical character, Sir Robert Carey. In real life, Carey was first Deputy Warden of the West March, and then of the East March, before succeeding his father as Warden of the East March. Although Hexham was situated in the Middle March and, therefore, not under Carey’s control his adventures often bring him into the Hexham area. Later titles in the series move away from Northumberland although Carey does eventually return north.

Christofides, Nicholas

The Border Reiver (2015)   A futuristic novel set in Northumberland under a revolutionary government with battles in the streets of Hexham and north into Scotland.

Clare, Austen

By the rise of the river: studies and sketches in south Tynedale (1897).

Collingwood, W G

The likeness of King Elfwald: a study of Northumbria and Iona at the beginning of the Viking Age (1917). Fictionalised account of late Anglo-Saxon Northumbria

Conway, Sara

Hexham’s very own medieval mystery series, featuring the fictional ex-crusader and now Bailiff of Hexham, Lord Godwin. Two titles were published: Murder on Good Friday (2001) and Daughters of Summer (2003). An American academic, Conway obviously knows Hexham although allows herself a little authorial licence in relating the history of the medieval town; notably by positioning a fortified keep at the foot of Eastgate, and ascribing a Jewish quarter to the town.

Cookson, Catherine

Many of this prolific author’s titles are set on Tyneside or further afield; this list covers only those set in Tynedale.

The dinner of herbs (1985), The Girl (1977), The Mallen Streak (1973), The Mallen girl (1974), The Mallen litter (1974), The round tower (1968).

Cornick, Nicola

The Blanchland secret (2000). Romance

Dietrich, William

Hadrian’s Wall: a tale of Roman England (2004)

Downie, R S

Ruso and the disappearing dancing girls (2007), Ruso and the demented doctor  (2008), Ruso and the river of darkness (2011), Ruso and the root of all evils (2010). Roman-set historical mysteries. Ruso is a medical officer attached to the Roman army at Housesteads.

Ferguson, Scoon

Pause, stop, eject (2023)     Horror story set in 1990s Hexham.    The author works as a member of the technical staff at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall

Finlay, Winifred

Danger at Black Dyke (1968), Mystery in the Middle Marches (1964), The witch of Redesdale (1951). Children’s adventures.

Fisher, Richard

Reivers’ road (1938). Historical fiction.

Forster,  R H

The hand of the spoiler: being the adventures of Master William Clavering at Corbridge, Hexham, and elsewhere… (1898). Tudor adventures.

Fraser, George MacDonald

The Candlemass Road (1993). Historical adventures with the Border Reivers.

Gale, Joan

Before the forest (1991). Life in the North Tyne valley before the planting of Kielder Forest.

Glenn, Rod 

Awaiting details. Horror.

Guthrie, Ramsay

The doctor’s daughter (1912). Romantic fiction.

Hamilton, Lord Ernest

The outlaws of the Marches (1897).

Hannah, Mari

Settled blood (2013). Crime series featuring DCI Kate Daniels.

Heard, Andrew

Emmabella’s Alphabets.  A series of children’s books featuring Emmabella, set in a slightly fictionalised Hexham.  The series starts with Emmabella’s Christmas Alphabet (c2016).

Hill, Lorna

Border peel (1950), Castle in Northumbria (1953). Children’s adventures.

Keith, Edward

The Keeper of the Rede: a romance of Redesdale (1929). Historical fiction.

Lewis, Roy

A gathering of ghosts (1982). Mystery, featuring Arnold Landon.

Martin, J Wallis

Dancing with the uninvited guest (2002). Mystery.

Palmer, Elizabeth

Money, adultery, love, passion and humour are the main ingredients in Palmer’s novels; the English upper classes at their best, and worst! Old money (1995), Palmer’s third novel, is set in Tynedale and the characters visit Hexham on several occasions.

Pease, Howard

The mark o’ the Deil, and other Northumbrian tales (1894), Tales of Northumbria (1899), The white-faced priest (1896), With the Wardens of the Marches or, The vow by the ‘Nine Stane Rig’ (1909). Historical fiction.

Phillipson, Prue

Rossimon (1997), Simon and Ross (1998), Wintertree (2003). Adventures for childen.

Pilling, David

Reiver (2016),  Reiver: the sword’s edge (2017). Historical novels set in the English & Scottish Middle Marches, featuring Richie Reade “Richie o’ the bow” and his troubles with both the Armstrongs and the rebellious Northern Earls.  Hexham features in both titles.

Price, Susan

The Sterkarm handshake (1998), The Sterkarm kiss (2003). Time-slip adventures for children.

Riches, Anthony

Empire: wounds of honour (2009), Empire; arrows of fury (2010). Roman adventures.

Roddick, Barbara

All the proud rebels (1977). A romance set in the aftermath of the Rising in the North.

Ross, L J     

Sycamore Gap (2015), Heavenfield (2016), Dark Skies (2017). Detective stories with a supernatural twist, featuring DCI Ryan.

Seeley, Emma Louisa

Border lances: a romance of the Northern Marches in the reign of Edward the Third (1886).

Seton, Anya

Devil Water (1962). Jacobite adventures.

Sharpe, Tom

Set in the countryside north of Hexham, The Throwback (1978) features the ancient Flawse family, landed gentry based at the falling-down Flawse Hall, (near “Flawse Fell”) in the wilds of Northumberland, just south of the Anglo-Scottish border. The single remaining family member is a cantankerous octogenarian named Edwin Tyndale Flawse. His illegitimate grandson Lockhart (aka “the Bastard”) combines sexual and educational innocence with an alarming propensity for violence when he or his wife is threatened. The old man was born in the late 19th century, and his main aim in the very autumn years of his life is to find the father of his bastard grandchild and flog him within an inch of his life.

Stovell, Sarah

Other parents (2022)  A portrait of parental attitudes in a thinly disguised Hexham First School

Simpson, Jean

Tynedale (2005). Historical fiction.

Sutcliff, Rosemary

The eagle of the Ninth (1954), Frontier wolf (1980). Children’s historical adventures.

Tonkin, Peter

The Hound of the Borders (2003). Elizabethan mystery.

Tranter, Nigel

Balefire (1958),  Cheviot Chase (1952).   Historical adventures set around the capture of the Tynedale Standard and a later attempt to reclaim it from across the Border

Wensby-Scott, Carol

Rich beyond our dreams (1991). Family saga of mining families.and other

Wilding, Rose

Speak of the devil (2023)    Feminist thriller, set in Newcastle and the countryside around  (an unnamed) Hexham

TV and Film

Only commercially-released films are listed here – many amateur films featuring the town can be viewed at the North East Film Archive

River Tyne (c1945)

A travelogue using the device of a Canadian seaman taking the train along the valley and exploring the tural and industrial history as he travels

A river speaks (1956)

A travelogue narrated by the actress, Flora Robson, following the Tyne and highlighting the rural life and industry along the valley

Your Heritage: the River Tyne (1962)

An ITV documentary following the river from source to mouth.

About Britain: A country editor (1976)

An ITV documentary following a day in the life of Mike Sharman, then Editor of the Hexham Courant.

About Britain: Gavin the stockman (1977)

An ITV documentary focussing on a worker on the Beaufront estate.

About Britain: For the love of the plough (1987)

An ITV documentary about the life of Thomas William Forster, one of the last horse-drawn ploughmen

Ladder of Swords (1989)

Feature film.   Don, his alcoholic wife Denise and Daley ‘The Dancing Bear’ are waiting on the moors to hear about a job. However, a fight, a disappearance and a death leads to unwanted attention from the police but a budding romance with a local widow.    Starring Martin Shaw, Eleanor David and Bob Peck.  Many scenes shot in Hexham.

Songs of Praise (2008)

Sunday worship programme, filmed in Hexham Abbey with Aled Jones as presenter.  Filmed in 2007 but not broadcast until the following year.

Cobra (2020)

TV drama series shown on Sky One, starring Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton.   Many scenes set in Hexham and featuring at least one Hexham resident, Wil Cheung, as an extra. Click here.

Britain’s great rivers – then and now: The Tyne (2020)

Channel 5 Select documentary largely focussing on the Abbey, despite the title.

CBeebies: Let’s go for a walk: Series 1:3 (2020)   

BBC Children’s programme looking at the town and its parks

Vera:  Vital Signs (2023)

An episode of the detective series featuring characters created by Ann Cleeves.   Filmed in Hexham in August 2021 but not transmitted until January 2023

Blue Jean (2022)

Feature film dealing with the infamous Section 28 which outlawed the “promotion of homosexuality”, set in Newcastle but largely filmed in Hexham

Vera: Two further episodes filmed in Hexham in 2023 – titles and transmission to be confirmed  Vera: Fast Love (transmitted Jan 2024)

The Dumping Ground: sequel to Tracy Beaker series, Series 10 filmed at the old Fellside school building in 2023/24.   Transmission date to be confirmed.