Flodden 500 community project hopes to have left a lasting legacy

A four-year project to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden and bring the story to a new generation has come to an end.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 7:23 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:41 am
Flodden re-enactment by Colin MacConnachie.
Flodden re-enactment by Colin MacConnachie.

A new Flodden website has been launched to round off the £1.3million project that renewed the interest of thousands of people in one of the defining battles between Scotland and England.

The Flodden 500 project, set up in 2013, supported hundreds of community volunteers who took part in archaeological fieldwork, documentary research and the setting up of an ecomuseum.

Through the project’s learning programme more than 10,000 schoolchildren have discovered how James IV and the cream of Scotland’s aristocracy died alongside thousands of their men on the Northumbrian hillside.

An evaluation report commissioned for the Heritage Lottery Fund concludes: ‘Overall the project has been highly successful: This was due to excellent and thorough planning at the outset, an adaptable and flexible steering group and staff, and at the base of it all, strong founding principles, based on a ground-up approach, central to the ethos of the ecomuseum. This has resulted in a higher profile for the battle and the ecomuseum, new independent archaeological activity led by project volunteers and an ecomuseum which is now acting as a model to others.’

Lord Joicey, a director of the Flodden 1513 project, said: “More than 60 people attended a final public event in Etal last December and there was a lively discussion about the future. The result was more than 50 ideas for new projects.

“So, as well as the enlarged and continuing Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, the Flodden 500 project has acted as a catalyst to a variety of community groups who are now looking to the future. Watch this space to see what happens next! But whatever happens, it would not have been possible without the efforts of the project staff, all of whom have given their very best to this project.”

A new Flodden website incorporates all of the project’s findings. This includes a large number of articles brought together under the title Flodden: Legends and Legacy, which draw together all the activities with which members of the local community have been involved.

It includes an introduction to ecomuseums, the documentary research projects at Berwick and Hawick, the school education programme and the Young Archaeologists’ Club.

There are more detailed chapters on the geology and landscape of Flodden, prehistoric finds, the routes taken by the Scottish army and the excavations that took place at Wark, Norham, Ladykirk, Flodden Hill and the battlefield.

A final summary chapter draws these threads together to ask: What have we learnt?