We took a trip up to Hexham, I spent half an hour wandering around the Abbey. As you walk into the Abbey you are faced with a Roman Tombstone, discovered in 1881, it is a memorial to Flavinus, a standard bearer. The carving depicts Flavinus riding over, what I presume is, a native Briton, the victors boot planted on his victims backside. The triumphs of past conquests are often displayed our churches, it is rare to see a memorial depicting our own islands conquest and defeat.
The original Saxon church was built using stone from nearby Roman sites. The church has been attacked many times during raids by the Vikings and later the Scots.
To the left of the High Altar is the Leschman Chantry Chapel, containing the tomb of Rowland Leschman, Prior of the Abbey from 1480 to 1491. The carvings on the tomb are an absolute joy.
Charles Dodgson is better known as Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I have previously written about his young life at Croft on Tees and the possible influences the area had on his writings, The Conyers Falchion and the Hells Kettles.
When Dodgson was twenty years old his father became a Canon at Ripon Cathedral. During his many visits to Ripon, he wrote Ye Carpette Knyghte and several pages of Through the Looking-Glass.
There is speculation that Dodgson may have found inspiration for some of his characters from the misericords carved beneath the seats in the cathedral’s choir stalls. The links are tenuous but they give me an excuse to post a bunch of photos of these beautiful 15th century carvings.