Hexham in Fiction

Hexham in Fiction

Novels and dramas set in or around Hexham and  Tynedale, listed alphabetically by the author’s surname. Click here for TV and Films (at bottom of page).


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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

Wensby-Scott, Carol

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

TV and Films

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. 

Vera:  (2021)

An episode of the detective series featuring characters created by Ann Cleeves.   Filmed in Hexham in August 2021 – yet to be shown