Group aims to unlock the door to the past

Robert Hardy and land owner Jim Short on Humbleton (Homildon) Hill just north of Wooler.
Robert Hardy and land owner Jim Short on Humbleton (Homildon) Hill just north of Wooler.

A group of local historians are investigating and researching key historical battle sites – and they want others to join in and share their knowledge.

Coming on the back of last year’s Flodden 500 commemorations, the team is looking at the conflict of Carham in 1018 and the 1402 battle of Homildon Hill, which was fought near Wooler under the leadership of Harry Hotspur.

With the help of the Battlefields Trust, they are looking to encourage local groups and individuals to become involved with these projects, and to help towards a better understanding of the events that shaped our history and heritage. Not just the battles will be researched, but also the events leading to conflict, why they happened in the area and how the results affected local and national history.

Public meetings are being arranged and it is hoped that any person or organisation with an interest in local history will attend and find out what is planned and bring their own local knowledge to add to the story.

Several local firms have agreed to sponsor the project and a great deal of interest has already been shown.

The first meeting will look at The Battle of Homildon Hill, (Humbleton Hill).

The agenda will include a review of work done so far by various groups, including Glendale Middle School, a discussion about the probable site and conduct of the battle and Harry Hotspur.

Future plans and how to promote the Battle of Homildon Hill as part the area’s heritage will also be discussed.

The meeting will be in the Tankerville Arms, Wooler, on Wednesday, March 19, starting at 7.30pm, and is free.

The Battle of Carham is next on the list, but because it happened nearly 1,000 years ago, it is doubtful that artefacts will be found or the precise site of the conflict will be determined.

On top of this, links to St Cuthbert, William Wallace, at least two other battles and a siege of Wark Castle are all waiting to be investigated .

A free one-day mini-conference on the Battle of Carham will be held in Cornhill Village Hall on Saturday, April 26, from 10am to 4.30pm.

Dr Alex Woolf will share his research into the battle.

For details, call Clive Hallam-Baker on 01890 820501.