Excavations to reveal secrets of Flodden graves

Archaeologist Chris Burgess, with a key find from the Flodden battle site. A crown shaped artefact made of copper alloy thought to have been a livery badge worn by a solider in the personal retinue of the Scottish King, James IV.  Its design includes the Fleur de Lys with jewels and diamonds, all elements which were known to have been part of the Scottish Crown in 1513.
Archaeologist Chris Burgess, with a key find from the Flodden battle site. A crown shaped artefact made of copper alloy thought to have been a livery badge worn by a solider in the personal retinue of the Scottish King, James IV. Its design includes the Fleur de Lys with jewels and diamonds, all elements which were known to have been part of the Scottish Crown in 1513.

Excavations of Flodden’s body pits are to take place at the beginning of September in an effort to categorise them as war graves or scheduled monuments.

The dig will take place between September 2 and 12, at the sites of body pits identified in the late 19th and early 2oth centuries.

With a few exceptions like the Scottish nobility, more than 10,000 soldiers were buried where they fell.

Supervised by the Flodden 1513 project, the team working on these excavations are primarily volunteers from across the north of England and Scotland. They will spend two weeks locating the exact spots where these burials took place.

It is not planned to exhume any remains,but to record their location and state of preservation in the hope that government agencies will use any evidence the team provides to protect the remains in the future.

Chris Burgess, Flodden 1513 Project Archaeological Manager explains: “We are acutely aware these are war graves and will be treating any remains found with the utmost respect. There is an overriding aim to locate these body pits so that the last resting places of some of the dead of both nations who fell on Flodden Field 500 years ago can be protected.”