VIDEO: Bell Tower joins Flodden Ecomusuem

Berwick’s 16th century Bell Tower and walled fortifications are among the new additions to the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum.

It is one of 41 sites across the country which are in some way linked to the Battle of Flodden or help people understand more about life in those times.

Built in 1577 to replace a tower which stood on Lords Mount, the octagonal bell tower would ring out to warn soliders and townspeople of danger and was last rung in 1683.

Built in 1577 to replace a tower which stood on Lords Mount, the octagonal bell tower would ring out to warn soliders and townspeople of danger and was last rung in 1683.

Remembered as the last great medieval battle, Flodden took place on September 9, 1513 when the English defeated the invading Scots and King James IV was killed.

Alistair Bowden, Flodden 1513 project director, said: “Berwick last changed hands just before Flodden and was still a sore wound so that was one of the reasons why Scotland invaded. However, they chose 
to do so by attacking Norham Castle and crossing the border into Glendale specifically to avoid 
Berwick which had its medieval walls and a strong garrison left behind by the English to help defend it.

“Berwick was a massive strategic centre and defensive settlement so while it did not play an obvious focal point in the Battle of Flodden, it was still the elephant in the room because of its importance as a supply route.”

Berwick’s town walls had 19 towers, including one with a warning bell.

The sound of the bell would have brought the soldiers and townspeople to the gates, walls and tower to face whatever danger had been spotted.

The Bell Tower itself was built in 1577 to replace another that was sited nearby on the Lord’s Mount. It is octagonal in shape and was built of stone salvaged from the town walls. it now has three storeys but was originally higher. The bell was last rung in 1683.

Dr Mark Douglas, properties curator at English Heritage which maintains the tower and walls, said: “The addition of the Bell Tower and the medieval defences to the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum will bring a new dimension to the interpretation of Berwick as a historic site.

“The town is famed for its Elizabethan walls but to some extent the earlier medieval parts are slightly overlooked and hopefully this will help to address that.

“The Bell Tower and nearby parts of the walls were of great strategic importance for Berwick and that role lasted for 
centuries.”