Dig hopes to unearth the details of Scottish attack

Alistair Bowden, Flodden 1513 project coordinator.
Alistair Bowden, Flodden 1513 project coordinator.

The archaeology team of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project has announced the last in the current series of excavations.

Taking place at Ladykirk, immediately north of Norham Castle, the team hopes to unearth the key to the Scottish attack on the castle, the location of the Scottish artillery emplacement.

The site has been specifically chosen due to a geophysics report showing evidence of hidden anomalies. The dig will last 11 days, September 3-14, and the team are looking for volunteers to delve into our local history. Anyone wishing to take part should email Richard Carlton on richard.carl ton@newcastle.ac.uk

From historical records, it is known that the Scottish armies brought with them huge cannons to attack the walls of Norham Castle; the cannons were so large that it took 32 oxen to pull them. It is believed that this is the site where these cannons stood.

Alistair Bowden, Flodden 1513 project coordinator, said: “We are hoping to find a cobbled hardstanding which would have been essential for the cannons to stand on.

“If we are lucky, we may also find evidence of ancient gabions made from wicker baskets containing compacted earth and stones, which would have served as a defensive wall to protect the Scottish cannons brought down from Edinburgh, against the smaller cannon fire from the castle itself.

“The previous digs this year have proved to be a great success, we have had many volunteers helping and enjoying the archaeological process.

“As a team we are very much hoping that we will have a big group for the final project and we are delighted to be able to offer people the opportunity to take part in such an exciting dig.”

Lasting for four years, the Flodden 1513 project aims to raise the profile of the Battle of Flodden and leave a lasting legacy for communities in north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. The £1.3million project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is the UK’s first cross-border ecomuseum.