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A Battlefield Walk: Flodden Field

May 24, 2014

What I always remember from schooldays about the Battle of Flodden Field (9th September 1513) is that the English army fought with their backs to Scotland and that the Scottish army fought with their backs to England.Northumberland 267

And that the King of Scotland, James IV was killed in the slaughter, alongside about 10,000 Scots and 4,000 English – the vast majority of whom would have been pressed into fighting by Northumberland 268overlords who wouldn’t have given them much say in the matter.

In Northumberland, we went to walk the trail recently opened around the battlefield, now peaceful meadows and tree-lined hedges. It is a very accessible battlefield, pleasant to walk around with a number of informative noticeboards and a good leaflet and map available on site.

It is also an easy battle to understand.Northumberland 277

The hill of Flodden is high and steep and would have been relatively unassailable by the English if the Scots had remained there.

As with so many British battles, the losing side gave away the high ground, lured down, charging into a low-lying marshy centre Northumberland 275ground where they were so easily slaughtered.

Many of the dead lie in the churchyard at Branxton village, which would have been around the English left flank during the battle.

Now skylarks hover and their pleasant song is the only noise to break the peace of what is a lovely, pastoral stretch of countryside.

We visited in early evening and had the paths to ourselves. It is a deeply atmospheric place, no different to other stretches of grand countryside in the debatable lands that are still not quite English and not quite Scottish.

Except that a great tragedy was played out there.

Flodden Field is well worth a visit.Northumberland 271

If you want to find out more visit the Flodden Project website at

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2014 12:12 pm

    I’ve certainly never been there – like so many other places on a long to-do list!

  2. May 24, 2014 3:05 pm

    In this year of remembrance of the beginning of WW1 it would also be a good time to pay our respects to all of the battles that took place on our islands. We should remember all those who fell & work towards peace for all.

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