History comes alive over weekend to commemorate battle

History will be made next month when key scenes from the Battle of Flodden are re-enacted to commemorate its 500th anniversary.

The recreation of the battle scenes will be the first authentic re-enactment to be staged and organisers are predicting that onlookers will experience the ‘wow’ factor.

The event is part of a living history weekend being held at Etal on August 3 and 4, organised by Ford & Etal Estates as part of the commemorations of the quincentenary.

The weekend will include 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 will also be displays in archery, steel weapons, cannons, guns, pikes and armoury.

Both days will culminate in the re-enactment of some aspects of the battle which have taken nearly three years to prepare.

“What people will see is a re-enactment that has never taken place before; something that will be entertaining as well as educational. They will feel the ‘wow’ factor,” said Tod Booth, of Armet, a re-enactment group formed specially for the event.

For Tod, the re-enactment preparations have been ‘a labour of love’ as he has had to research and recreate everything from the weaponry, clothes and armour to the ring worn by James IV, King of Scotland.

“I’ve gone grey doing this over the last three years, but it will be worth it as I am 52 and I will not live through another 500th anniversary of a big-time battle like this,” Tod said.

On the day, Armet will be joined by members of other re-enactment groups such as the Border Clansmen, the Company of St Margaret and Northern Alliance. Commentary will be by Alasdair Hutton, commentator of the Edinburgh Tattoo.