FLODDEN 1513 Eco-Museum is now up and running.
A total of 12 sites on either side of the England/Scotland border connected with the Battle of Flodden have become linked under the same brand name, giving members of the public a better overall picture of what happened in the run-up to and aftermath of the fateful battle on September 9, 1513.
There’s no new museum building, the eco museum idea provides the connection between them and the Battle of Flodden taking visitors on a historical treasure trail around north Northumberland and the Borders, even up to Edinburgh to the Flodden wall.
What started as ten linked sites, quickly grew to 12 in the first phase of the eco-museum and there is no reason why others can’t be added to the Flodden eco map in the future, continuing building a picture of one of the most definitive battles between England and Scotland.
The new eco-museum is also accompanied by its own website Flodden 1513 - both of which were officially launched last week at a special event in Lady Waterford Hall, Ford.
The website welcomes visitors saying: “The 9th September 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.
“The battle was a Scottish tragedy involving the death of 10,000 common soldiers, nearly 100 noblemen and the Scottish King, James IV. Yet apart from the north of Northumberland these catastrophic events are largely unknown in England despite their influence in shaping British and European politics for the next 100 years, culminating with the union of the English and Scottish crowns in 1603.
“As part of the programme of projects and events commemorating the battle, communities on both sides of the border have come together to establish Britain’s first cross-border eco-museum.
“Here you will find details of the Flodden 1513 ecomuseum sites, community projects and events that are contributing to the commemoration and the ongoing remembrance of the Battle of Flodden.”
The most obvious of the 12 sites is the battlefield itself, close to the village of Branxton.
From there you can go on to explore: Norham Castle (captured by King James IV’s forces several weeks before the battle, the strongest castle on the border between England and Scotland in 1513); Etal Castle (also captured by King James IV in the weeks before the battle); Heatherslaw Corn Mill (a restored corn mill on the River Till known to have been operating at the time of the battle); Barmoor Castle (used by the English Army the night before the battle); Twizell Bridge (built in 1511, the site of the English Army’s crossing of the River Till on the morning of the battle); Ladykirk Church (built and dedicated by King James IV following raids into Northumberland in the 1490s); Branxton Church (on the edge of the battlefield where many of the wounded and dead were taken during and after the battle); Coldstream Museum (formerly the site of Coldstream Priory where the bodies of many of the dead Scottish nobles were removed after the battle); Weetwood Bridge (the likely crossing point over the River Till by the English army as it headed to Barmoor on September 7, 1513); The Fletcher Monument, Selkirk (he was the only one of 80 men to return to Selkirk from the Battle of Flodden); and the Flodden Wall, Edinburgh (the defensive wall, significantly refortified around the southern side of the city in the months following the defeat at Flodden).
Peter Davis, Professor of Museology at Newcastle University, an authority on eco-museums (which originated in France and in recent years have grown to over 300 across the world) said: “They are community-led and are all about places and territory and seek to explain a place in all its aspects.
“Flodden would be the hook, with people initially attracted by the battle and then signposted to related sites so that they gain a deeper understanding. The links could be by footpaths networks, car or public transport.
“What excites me particularly about the Flodden project is that it fits exactly the criteria for an eco-museum as a community-based heritage project that supports sustainable development.”