The battle actually took place rather closer to Branxton in Northumberland than Flodden (and it is sometimes called the Battle of Branxton). As well as the battlefield itself, there is an excellent exhibition at Etal Castle which is just a few miles away and is one of the castles which was captured by the Scots during their campaign; there is no visitor centre at the battlefield so a visit to Etal is well worthwhile. We also visited a small exhibition at the 'Old Guard' in Berwick-upon-Tweed
In the battle many of the Scots were armed with pikes, and had been trained by the French. The English, in contrast, had an army similar to that of the Wars of the Roses with many billmen as well as longbows.
|Etal - display of English bills|
|and Scottish pikes|
The two sides drew up on opposing hills; the English to the north of the Scots. The Scots led by James IV and the English by the Earl of Surrey who had flank marched his men around the Scottish army. It was dull, damp and muddy having rained for most of the day.
|The battle field from the English side - |
in the middle distance you can see the dip in the land
|The killing ground|
The dip is still quite boggy even today now that the land has been drained
|Looking up from the dip towards the English side|
"The Kynge of Scottes cam with a grete puyssaunce
upon my Lorde of Surrey, having on his lyfte hande
my Lorde Darcy son, which 2 bare alle the brounte
of the bataillle, and there the Kynge of Scottes was
slayne within a spere lengthe from the said Erle of
Surrey, and many noble men of the Scottes slayne moo [more]"
From the Articules of the bataillle bitwix the Kynge of
Scottes and the Erle of Surrey', written shortly after the
battle by Thomas Howard, the Lord Admiral
In all, it is said that more than 10,000 Scots and 4,000 English died.
|The memorial to the dead of both sides- erected 1910|
|Etal - prominent Scottish nobles who were killed|
Including James IV, the Archbishop of St Andrews and the Bishop of the Isles
|Branxton church, nearby, was used as a mortuary after the battle|
A few weeks before we were there, there was apparently a re-enactment event near Etal. Although I missed that I did get to an English Heritage living history event at Framlingham Castle a couple of weeks ago which was themed around Flodden:
|A demonstration of the reach advantage of pike over bill|
note how straight the pike isn't
|Two 'knights' battle it out|
Finally I could not resist putting in one toy soldier photo in this post:
|Your author taking photoes of a small figure display at Etal|