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Following in the footsteps of the James IV and the Scottish Army


Sep 9, 2016

After training on the Boroughmuir, on the south side of Edinburgh, James IV brought his army toward the major border fortress of Norham Castle.  After quickly decimating the walls with his modern siege cannons, the defenders capitulated.  James IV then marched onward with his army, taking the Castles at Wark, Etal and Ford, before setting up a defensive position at Flodden Hill, to await the inevitable English response.

 The Scottish campaign of summer 1513 could not have started more positively, but the Earl of Surrey did not oblige James by attacking the well-prepared defenses on Flodden Hill; instead he outflanked the Scottish army, cut off their supply lines via fords at Coldstream, and tempted James to attack down the steep slope of Branxton hill.  The consequences as a result, could not have been more catastrophic.

But just how did James IV and 40,000-80,000 soldiers, gunners and camp followers get from Edinburgh to Flodden? 

On Saturday 17 September, you can join Dr. David Caldwell and Richard Carlton uncovering the mystery as they lead a coach trip, looking at the routes of the Scottish army, forming images of the medieval landscape they would have travelled. 

Starting at 9:30 in the car park at Branxton (opposite the church), David and Richard will lead an informative and entertaining day, looking at the logistical effort and strategic intent of the campaign.  The route will take in Wark Castle, Coldstream, Duns, Ellemford, Johnscleugh, Windy Windshiel, Ladykirk, Norham, Twizell, stopping at some of them for closer inspection, before ending back at Branxton, later in the day.

Both David and Richard have been directly involved throughout the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project.  Richard currently runs the Archeological Practice and is a visiting fellow at Newcastle University.  “He has played a crucial role in the delivery of the archaeology activity within the Heritage Lottery Funded Flodden project” said Alistair Bowden, project manager of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project.  “Richard has been fundamental in running excavations at Norham, Wark, Ladykirk, Ellmford, Windy Windhshiel and others.  We are delighted that he has agreed to lead the troops together with David, following in the footsteps of James IV.” 

“We are extremely privileged to have such renowned individuals involved in the Flodden project,” continued Alistair.  Dr. David Caldwell is currently the President of The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and previously spent a long and distinguished career at the National Museum of Scotland as an internationally recognized expert in medieval Scotland.

Alistair goes on to say: “This trip is the culmination of two year’s work by David and Richard, together with a host of community volunteers looking at the routes taken by the Scottish army.  This has been an integral part of the Flodden project, which would not have been possible without the funding from the Heritage Lottery.” 

To book a FREE place or ask for further information about the forthcoming events, visitwww.flodden1513.com or email alistair@hulam.co.uk.

By Emily