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Francis Woodman

Former Augustinian priory church in Northumberland, England, noted for its Anglo-Saxon crypt and Early Gothic transept. Founded c. ad 675 by St Wilfrid (d 709), Hexham was an important Anglo-Saxon building, and a cathedral from 681. Richard of Hexham (12th century) described the early church as ‘larger than any other house this side of the Alps’, while William of Malmesbury (c. 1124) said that Hexham displayed the ‘glories of Rome’ and that Wilfrid had brought Roman masons to build it. The church, dedicated to St Andrew, was a basilica with square piers supporting galleries over the aisles, perhaps extending around the west, and a clerestory. Access to the upper floor was by spiral stairs. The crypt ‘of wonderfully dressed stone’ (Eddius) survives beneath the present church. Other potentially early features suggest a bema-like eastern termination. A 7th-century English basilican church with both crypt and galleries is exceptional and recalls S Agnese fuori le Mura (...