500 years since battle

The Scots and the English square up at the Flodden battle re-enactment at Etal.
The Scots and the English square up at the Flodden battle re-enactment at Etal.
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History came alive at the weekend when key scenes from the Battle of Flodden were re-enacted to commemorate its 500th anniversary.

The recreation of the battle scenes were the first authentic re-enactment to be staged and spectators were certainly given that wow factor.

The crown of King James IV of Scotland is lifted to announce his slaying.

The crown of King James IV of Scotland is lifted to announce his slaying.

It was fitting reward for those involved, as it took three years to prepare.

Tod Booth, of Armet, a re-enactment group formed specially for the event, had to research and recreate everything from the weaponry, clothes and armour to the ring worn by James IV, King of Scotland.

He admitted that his quest to achieve authenticity was enough to turn his hair grey, and one of the biggest headaches turned out to be the pikes used by the majority of the Scots soldiers.

In the end, the poles were found near Etal and historical techniques were used to turn them into authentic-looking pikes.

The scenes were part of a living history weekend held at Etal last Saturday and Sunday.

It was organised by Ford & Etal Estates as part of the commemorations of the quincentenary of the bloody battle.

There were also medieval craft demonstrations, living history performances, a Flodden-era military camp, historical traders, food stalls, a mini beer festival and a programme of talks by experts on topics including weapons and tactics, archaeology, Sir Walter Scott and Abbotsford House.

There were displays in archery, steel weapons, cannons, guns, pikes and armoury.

Becki Cooper, PA to the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Ltd, said the event was a success.

She added: “The Flodden and Sixteenth Century Discovery event in Etal was a great weekend.

“We had a great line-up of reenactment displays, speakers and performances, traders and caterers. And the sun shone all weekend long.

“We all really enjoyed the weekend.

“It was definitely worth all of the hard work.”

Armet was joined by members of other re-enactment groups such as the Border Clansmen, the Company of St Margaret and Northern Alliance.

Commentary was by Alasdair Hutton, commentator of the Edinburgh Tattoo.

500 YEARS SINCE BATTLE

September 9, 2013, marks the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

The battle was a national tragedy that led to the death of 15,000 Scots and English soldiers, 100 noblemen and the Scottish King, James IV.

As part of the programme of projects and events commemorating the battle, which include tours of the site, communities on both sides of the border have come together to establish Britain’s first cross-border ecomuseum.

The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum started by linking together 12 sites from across north Northumberland, the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh, which have an intimate connection with the story of Flodden.