A Flodden feast is on the menu

Medieval banquet
Medieval banquet

A Flodden feast of pea pottage, collops of baked ham and cheese and caraway jumbles is being served up in 16th century style at Etal Village Hall.

Glendale will once again be alive with the smells, tastes and textures of 1513 on Saturday, April 13, thanks to Glendale History Society who are inviting people to the Tudor style luncheon, one of the many events taking place this year to mark the 500th anniversary of the historic Battle of Flodden.

Those feasting on the day will have the chance to enjoy a range of carefully researched recipes featuring typical Tudor fare. On the menu will be thick pea pottage with barley bannock, real mince pies, collops of baked ham and cheese and fresh herb tart with pickles and carrots. Deserts were just as important and to round off the meal there will be apple mousse and caraway jumbles and jellied milk cubes.

Rosemary Bell, programme secretary of The Glendale Local History Society said: “This is a really unique opportunity to try out the food that would have been eaten by local people in our area 500 years ago. I’m sure people will still recognise the local produce although the recipes have changed over time. We hope that this medieval feast will also give people the chance to reflect on this medieval battle which took place in our region as part of the commemoration of its anniversary.”

Pottage (a herb flavoured soup) was the staple diet of the poor people in Tudor times with peasants mainly eating whatever they could grow or catch.

Fruit and vegetables could only be eaten when they were in season and with little fresh drinking water it was common for ale to be drunk at mealtimes, the richer members of society enjoying wine instead.

The only meat that was eaten was what could be hunted, mainly oxen, deer, calves, pigs or wild boar. It was heavily salted or smoked to keep it from spoiling and it would usually make up three quarters of a typical Tudor diet.

Wealthy lords would use goblets and plates made from gold, silver, or pewter and the less important guests were served on trencher platters which were made of either wood or sometimes bread.

Prior to the 21st century Flodden feast, participants will also have the chance to visit Heatherslaw Mill in Etal.

Julia Nolan from Heatherslaw Mill will give a talk on ‘Milling from the 1300s onwards’ at 11am followed by a tour of the mill. This will be a chance to view the fully-restored mill machinery, including three different pairs of millstones, still used to produce high quality, stoneground, wholemeal flour from wheat grown in the local fields.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend the Flodden feast luncheon taking place at 1pm at Etal Village Hall on Saturday, April 13. People may bring their own alcoholic beverages. Tickets are £16 per person and bookings made as soon as possible.

The tour of Heatherslaw Mill costs £2.50 for non-members and is free for members. It has been arranged for 11am–12.30pm so it can be attended separately.

Heatherslaw Mill is believed to be over 700 years old and was operating at the time of the battle. Although there are no records from that time it would be reasonable to assume that with troops from both England and Scotland gathering in the area the mill, along with others along the River Till, was kept busy supplying flour for bread and possibly malted grain for beer.

For further information please contact Rosemary Bell at Glendale Local History Society on 01668 281310 or by email to glhs@btinternet.com.

For information on all the activities taking place to mark the anniversary please visit www.flodden1513.com