Theatrical tour to mark Flodden anniversary

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There are a number of events in the pipeline to mark the 500th anniversary of Flodden but if you look to the hills on August 24 you’ll see one with a theatrical twist.

Cranshaws, Ellemford and Longformacus Community Council has united with Duns Players and Eyemouth Variety Group to stage ‘Footsteps to Flodden’, a 13 mile-long walk which will map out the route taken by King James IV, who left Edinburgh to cross the Lammermuir Hills to muster at Ellemford before contesting the largest ever battle fought between England and Scotland.

In a series of small dramatisations, the participants in the walk will meet the ghosts of history. Knights, soldiers, tenant farmers and ladies of the night will reveal the people, politics and social circumstances that surrounded this dark period in our history.

One of the organisers, Richard Havers said all involved were in agreement that it was different but effective way of marking Flodden 500.

“Obviously the main inspiration for the event is the Battle of Flodden but it’s also that we all felt that Ellemford was one of the most important places in the leadup to the bloodshed but its role is so often forgotten.

“At the time the old B6355 road from Gifford to Duns was the most important route in Scotland. It was the way everyone travelling from Edinburgh to England would go.

“There isn’t a single sign up here to mark that fact so we see the walk as a great way of focussing some attention back on the hills.”

The route of the walk is from Nunraw Abbey to Ellemford, mainly on rough tracks with two short sections on quiet B roads.

Those wishing a shorter walk can join the throng at the Whiteadder picnic site at lunchtime to do the five mile section to Ellemford. Busses will take participants from the morning meeting place at the Whiteadder Picnic site to the start of the walk and return them to their vehicles at the end of the day.

The 13 mile walk will start near Garvald before climbing up past the Castle Moffat reservoir on to the Lammermuirs.

The picnic site below the reservoir damn will be a lunch time assembly point and from there the route follows the Whiteadder River before turning northward to Harehead Farm.

At this point another ancient track crosses the Blackcleugh Rig, allowing a high level walk with beautiful views of the Lammermuir Hills before dropping down to Ellemford where the army of King James IV camped while awaiting the Earls of Home and Angus and their men that completed the muster.

For more information visit www.lammermuirlife.co.uk