This part of Northumberland is possibly best known by visitors for Hadrian's Wall but this far flung outpost of the Roman empire has many more stories to tell.
The notorious Border Reivers had their stronghold in these 'debatable lands' and mounted many raids across the Marches – the anglo/Scottish border country -between the 13th and 17th centuries. They have left their mark on the landscape in the form of reinforced Bastle houses – with Haltwhistle having more than any other English town. Their activities introduced words such as 'Blackmail', 'Bereaved', and 'Gang' into the English language. More information about the Reivers' way of life can be found in Hexham Old Gaol and Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. And you don't have to look further than the local telephone directory to discover that descendents of the Reiver families are alive and well in our area – look out for the Bells, Armstrongs, Wallaces, Johnsons, Nixons and Milburns.
Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Hexham was a centre of the leather trade, particularly renowned for making gloves known as Hexham Tans - now the name of a vegetarian restaurant in the town.
The Tyne Valley has many famous sons including Thomas Bewick the talented woodcarver who was born at Cherryburn near Prudhoe and not far away in Wylam is the birthplace of George Stephenson 'the Father of the Railways'.
Our rugged landscape has also been shaped by many generations of farming families who have carved out a living. Their traditions and way of life are commemorated and celebrated at the Bellingham Heritage Centre.
So by all means come and see the best of Roman history in this central section of Hadrian's Wall – but you will find there is even more to discover about lives lived in the villages and towns along the Wall over the centuries since Roman times.