Major funding boost for Northumberland battle project

A project to celebrate the 500th anniversary of a famous battle has received a funding boost of nearly £900,000.

Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Ltd has received support, of £887,300, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to begin the Flodden 500 Project. The project will bring together communities of the Scottish and Northumbrian border areas in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden 1513.

The project will last four years to ensure that legacy is created beyond the actual commemoration events in 2013.

Ivor Crowther, head of HLF North East, said: “Flodden 500 is an important opportunity to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

“With the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the site will be opened up much more widely to encourage dialogue about this historic battle and how it has impacted communities from both sides of the Borders.

“We’re particularly supportive of plans to deliver a community archaeology programme which will get people enthused and involved with their

local heritage.”

Lord Joicey of Ford & Etal Estates, on whose land the battle site is mostly located and who is adirector of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, added: “It is wonderful that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to support the application by the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum to ensure that Flodden notonly reaches a wide audience among schoolchildren, amateur researchers and all those who want to increase their skills in archaeology and palaeography but also to build up the geographical and cultural connections through enlarging the Ecomuseum itself.

“The significance of Flodden in the story of our nations is too often overlooked.”

The Battle of Flodden was fought on September 9, 1513, on the border between England and Scotland. It was the last of the bloody medieval battles, and the last occasion on which a monarch of the British Isles was killed on the field of battle.

The death of James IV of Scotland and the majority of the Scottish nobility at the hands of the Earl of Surrey’s English army was a cataclysmic event for Scotland. Its outcome influenced the course of history with the Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England occurring less than 100 years later.

The project focuses not just on the tens of thousands of lives lost during the campaign but also the impact the battle had on the culture of today’s border communities.

Flodden 500 comprises a suite that will create learning, participation and volunteering opportunities for people to get involved in all aspects of Flodden heritage.

A Flodden Discovery Programme will include activities such as: archaeological excavations; surveying, geophysics and metal detecting;and transcribing and interpreting 16th-century documents.

An informative travelling exhibition will tour the area and Scottish Borders Museums are curating two local exhibitions.

Education officers will be employed to run a school and site-based learning programme raising awareness and understanding of this nationally significant battle. Tool kits, loan boxes and on-line resources will be developed as well as utilising practical learning experiences such as real-life archaeological digs.

The plans also intend to increase the number of physical sites of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum. New sites, all with intimate Flodden connection, will be added, expanding the network and our knowledge and understanding of the wide-reaching effects of the battle.

Steve Stewart, Northumberland County Council’s chief executive, said: “This is fantastic news for a commemorative event that will have great national and international significance.

“The Battle of Flodden played a significant role in the history of our nations and this project will improve learning, access and understanding of the Flodden heritage as well as providing boost to tourism and a lasting legacy.

“The project is also a great demonstration of partnership working on a cross-border theme.”