To instill some instant culture we took two Antipodean friends to Flodden Field, the scene of a serious own goal by the Scots in 1513 and soon to be at its 500th anniversary. What fun that will be for every patriotic Englishmen. Flodden has no interpretive centre as such but there are the odd information boards and you can walk the battlefield walk and wonder at the suicidical tactics of the Scots, culminating in the King, James IV dismounting from his horse to join the pikemen on foot and being chopped to pieces by the English swordsmen who made short work of the wooden pikes.. The only real winners were Hume's Borderers who left the battle at half time with their loot thus leaving a hole in the Scottish centre which the English exploited killing about 10,000 Scots and losing 4,000 of their own side. All in a single afternoon
The best view of the battlefield is from the Flodden memorial on Branxton Hill-as in one image above. This is looking south from the English lines towards the Scottish positions on the hill to the south-the killing grounds were in the valleys in between.
The best description of the battle can be found in Branxton Church where the body of James IV lay the night after the battle-and then taken in triumph to London where it was buried in an unmarked grave.
A big blow for the Scots and all because they did the French a favour.
Moral there somewhere
(click on the images for greater detail)
Labels: Flodden, French, James IV