The forgotten casualties of a bloody 500-year-old battle

Volunteers transcribe the horse document.
Volunteers transcribe the horse document.
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Soldiers weren’t the only casualties at the Battle of Flodden five centuries ago.

Hundreds of horses were given away after their owners had fled or been killed in the bloody battle in 1513.

Now Flodden volunteers have transcribed a document from the National Archives which gives in-depth detail on each of the 297 horses – colour, size, new owner and even a description of their ears.

Linda Bankier, Berwick archivist and head of the team of transcribers, said: “The catalogued horses were distributed in Northumberland, Cumberland, North Yorkshire and Lancashire.

“It is thought that the horses were given out to people who were still up north and had taken part in the Battle of Flodden.

“To get such great detail on the colours, size, even the description of ears of horses from that time was quite unprecedented and really very special.”

The result of this research will be displayed to the public for the first time on Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30, at Heatherslaw Mill, along with a range of family activities, including clay modelling and making horses from felt.

There will even be a ‘war horse’ on site as Milfield heavy Horse Association is taking along one of its Clydesdales.

For more information on the activities, visit www.flod or education officer Jane Miller at