It’ll soon be the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, it took place on 9th September 1513, so I imagine that there will be quite a lot of people going along to the battlefield around about that time in remembrance of the disastrous battle.
We visited the battlefield donkey’s years ago, in fact I think it was before we had our boys and they are all grown up now, so we thought we would visit again whilst it was relatively quiet. The photo above is of Branxton Church.
It seems to have changed quite a lot over the years as I don’t recall being able to walk around the actual battlefield before, and there are interesting information boards all around the edges of the field. Just about the only thing I could remember from our last visit was the old church which a lot of the dead and dying had been taken to during the battle. The Celtic Cross monument was put up in 1910.
There were quite a few other people visiting the monument but while we were there we were the only ones who took the time to walk all around the edges of the battlefield, as you can see it had a crop of barley or some such thing growing in it when we were there, but there’s a good, wide grassy path, easy on the feet.
There were about 10,000 Scotsmen killed here and 5,000 English/Welsh and I suppose that their bodies are all around this area. With the Scottish army outnumbering the English and having the high ground this should have been a victory for the Scots but there had been heavy rain for days before the battle and the Scots didn’t realise that the land had become a horrible bog in areas. They were obviously impatient for the battle to commence and so started the charge towards the enemy, only to be stuck in the mire and mud, easy targets for the Welsh bowmen.
The Scots had heavy guns but these were difficult to manoeuvre and the English lighter artillery was more useful under the circumstances. This whole battle came about after peace had reigned between the two countries for a long time as King Henry VII realised that his claim to be king of Scotland was not a strong one and he obviously didn’t want to risk the possibility of losing everything in a battle.
Unfortunately his son Henry VIII didn’t have the same attitude and he reasserted the English claim to Scotland. Under those circumstances the Scottish King James IV had to stand up for himself, hence the battle whilst Henry VIII was busy fighting the French – whose king had asked James for support under The Auld Alliance. It should have worked – if only it hadn’t been chucking it down with rain for days, that rain is always against us!
You might find the Remembering Flodden site interesting.
It was all nearly 500 years ago but it’s still a sad memory of such a waste of life all round.
Lovely scenery though.