Berwick 900: How we will remember Flodden

Workshops will be delivered in Berwick Museum from April to July
Workshops will be delivered in Berwick Museum from April to July

The Flodden 1513 education team have developed new schools’ workshops that will form part of Berwick 900’s programme of events.

“We are passionate about local history and enjoy sharing the exciting stories of our past with local youngsters through education workshops and community events. As part of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project, we have worked with over 35 schools in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders,” said Jane Miller, Flodden 1513 Education Officer.

Two new half-day workshops have been developed for schools under the heading; ‘Our Border Story’, which is one of the key Berwick 900 themes.

The workshops will be delivered in Berwick Museum from April to July and are free to all schools.

These new sessions, which place the Battle of Flodden in a wider historical context, look at Anglo-Scottish relations from the late 13th century to the end of the 16th century.

Although the focus will be on Berwick and the Borders, the sessions will also look at the bigger European picture and how international issues and alliances influenced local events.

The education team work closely with Flodden 1513 archivist, Linda Bankier and archaeology manager, Dr. Chris Burgess and wherever possible use primary sources of evidence, both documentary and archaeological.

The first new workshop, ‘From Golden Age to Darkest Days’, looks at Medieval Berwick in the 13th century, from prosperous Scottish Royal Burgh to the scene of Edward I’s brutal attack in 1296. Hands-on learning activities will encourage pupils to discover this strategically important town, its defences and the part it played at the start of the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Pupils will also explore the role of religious houses in Berwick at this time; the trading and land owning interests of the Border Abbeys and the work of Friars in Berwick’s religious hospitals. What was it like to be a patient in the medieval period? We take a look at medieval medicine and how disease and battle wounds would be treated. Thankfully medicine has improved considerably over the last 700 years!

‘Life in a Tudor Garrison Town - cobblers, minstrels, soldiers and spies!’ is the second new half-day workshop. Youngsters will need to do some serious detective work to uncover what life was like in this 16th century border town. Using 16th century documentary sources that describe the monitoring of Scots within Berwick, a detailed plan of the town from around 1570 and well preserved artefacts from archaeological excavations on Marygate, pupils will be encouraged to piece together the evidence and build up a picture of life in Tudor Berwick.

There will be an informal preview event at Berwick Museum on Tuesday March 3 from 3.45pm to 5pm. For more information, please contact Jane Miller, Flodden 1513 Education Officer on 07768 557698, or email