Historians hone in on medieval battle sites

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy

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Now that the dust has settled after the Flodden 500th anniversary commemorations a group of local historians is investigating and researching other historical battle sites in the area.

The battle of Carham in 1018 settled the River Tweed as the border between England and Scotland, then the battle of Homildon Hill, fought near Wooler in 1402 under the leadership of Harry Hotspur, was the first battle to be won entirely by archers.

With the help of the Battlefields Trust they are looking to encourage local groups and individuals to become involved with these projects, and to help towards a better understanding of the events that shaped our history and heritage.

Public meetings are being arranged, the first of which will look at The Battle of Homildon Hill (Humbleton Hill). It will include a review of work done so far by various groups, including Glendale Middle School, a discussion about the probable site and conduct of the battle and the leadership of Harry Hotspur. Future plans and how to promote the Battle of Homildon Hill will also be discussed.

The meeting is to be held at the Tankerville Arms in Wooler on Wednesday, March 19, 7pm for 7.30pm. All welcome, free entry.

The Battle of Carham is next on the list. Links to St Cuthbert, William Wallace, at least two other battles and a siege of Wark Castle are all waiting to be investigated.

A mini-conference will be held in Cornhill Village Hall on Saturday, April 26 from 10am-4.30pm, free entry. Dr Alex Woolf from the University of St Andrews will share the results of his research on the subject.

Clive Hallam-Baker, who has helped to organise the events, said: “it is hoped that any person or organisation with an interest in local history will attend and find out both what is planned, and also be able to bring their own local knowledge to add to the story.”

These projects are the first in a series that are planned.

“The goal in the medium term is to build an integrated picture of our Border history and the ways in which our local culture and heritage were shaped by conflict,” said Clive.

Future projects will cover the Battle of Halidon Hill, the Battle of Otterburn, and the Battle of Hedgeley Moor.

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