Local residents can also get out their own bikes to share the international spotlight with the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish – although they won’t be competing.

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Hagustald is related to the Old High German hagustalt, denoting a younger son who takes land outside the settlement; the element ea means "stream" or "river" and ham is the Old English form of the Modern English "home" (and the Scots and Northern English "hame").

Like many towns in the Anglo-Scottish border area and adjacent regions, Hexham suffered from the border wars between the kingdoms of Scotland and England, including attacks from William Wallace who burnt the town in 1297.

There is a legend that Queen Margaret of Anjou took refuge after the battle in what is known as The Queen's Cave where she was accosted by a robber; the legend formed the basis for an 18th-century play by George Colman the Younger; but it has been established that Queen Margaret had fled to France by the time the battle took place.

Until 1572, Hexham was the administrative centre of the former Liberty or Peculiar of Hexhamshire.

“Bikes that are fixable will be donated to North-East recycling projects and others that are beyond fixing, but still look like bikes, will be decorated to add a real Northumbrian red and yellow splash of colour to the race routes.

“Northumberland is going to look fantastic.” Among the schools involved is Mickley First School, where headmaster Andy Hudson said: “The pupils were getting excited about the Tour of Britain before the holidays and they will be painting the bikes we have collected in bright red and yellow colours once they return to school.” As well as decorated bikes, there will be a lot of other attractions going on when the Arriva-sponsored tour hits Tynedale on September 10.The choir, north and south transepts and the cloisters, where canons studied and meditated, date from this period. The abbey stands at the west end of the market place, which is home to the Shambles, a Grade II* covered market built in 1766 by Sir Walter Blackett.At the east end of the market place stands the Moot Hall, a c15 gatehouse that was part of the defences of the town.Newcastle upon Tyne is about 25 miles (40 km) to the east.Hexham Abbey originated as a monastery founded by Wilfrid in 674.The crypt of the original monastery survives, and incorporates many stones taken from nearby Roman ruins, probably Coria or Hadrian's Wall.