Surrey’s route to Flodden

The memorial to the dead of both nations who fought at the Battle of Flodden in 1513
The memorial to the dead of both nations who fought at the Battle of Flodden in 1513

A special event retracing the route taken by the Earl of Surrey and the English Army as they closed in on the Scots at Flodden Field in 1513 takes place this weekend.

Led by historian, author and raconteur John Saddler those taking part meet at the car park opposite Branxton Church at 9.30am and will travel by coach to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where the epic journey of the English soldier begins at the very point where the English army mustered.

Slowly re-tracing the steps back toward Flodden, the coach will follow the route of the English army to Bolton, Doddington, Barmoor, Twizel, finally culminating at Branxton, with the day’s event due to conclude around 5pm.

This unique opportunity to retrace the route of the English army will certainly be kinder on the foot than those of the thousands of soldiers who marched stealthily toward the battle in 1513, and a decisive English victory.

Commenting on this hard fought, bloody battle, which saw the demise of James IV, killed in the battle, Alistair Bowden, part of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project who organised the event said: “This really is a great opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of an ordinary English soldier, without the risk of suffering from the many blisters and sores they undoubtedly did.

“It is very likely that these soldiers would have already walked from as far as Knutsford or Doncaster, as they trudged the final miles toward a brutal culmination.

“In terms of troop numbers, this was the largest battle fought between England and Scotland.

“Having the opportunity to travel the route, you can really sense how it must have been for the English General, Thomas Howard, The Earl of Surrey (2nd Duke of Norfolk), as he made the critical decision to outflank the Scots.”

The next event to focus on this national tragedy that led to the death of thousands of Scottish and English soldiers, together with 100 noblemen and the Scottish King himself, James IV, takes place on Saturday, September 17.

Led by Dr David Caldwell (president, The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland) and Richard Carlton (The Archaeological Practice & Newcastle University), you will follow the route taken by James IV and the Scottish army, as they made their way to this brutal and bloody battle.

To book a free place visit www.flodden1513.com or email alistair@hulam.co.uk.