Add a New String to your Bow with the Flodden Archer

Thursday 14/07/2016

Add a New String to your Bow with the Flodden Archer

Add a New String to your Bow with the Flodden Archer

Tying in with the Flodden Exhibition currently running at the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Rusty Bodkins, the Flodden archer will be hosting a unique event to demonstrate how the longbow and billhook were used at the Battle of Flodden.  Visitors of all ages are invited to come along to the Berwick Museum to have the opportunity to meet the Flodden archer from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on Thursday 21st July.

Visitors to this free event can learn about the different types of arrowheads used, and the type of wounds they would have inflicted.  Rusty will talk about the period equipment, which would have been used, as well as the different liveries worn by the archers.  Although the bow itself changed very little throughout the period, fashions did change in dress and equipment, and younger visitors to the event will be able to get a real feel of what it would have been like at the time of the Battle of Flodden by dressing up as the Flodden archer themselves.

Rusty, who holds an Archery GB leader award, is well known for holding similar sessions at both Edinburgh and Bamburgh Castles with his ‘have a go archery’ sessions.  Rusty has been involved with schools throughout the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Project which have studied the battle as a topic.  He has provided short presentations encouraging the children to get involved.  Commenting on the ‘Meet the Flodden Archer’ event, Graham Hamilton, otherwise known as Rusty Bodkins said:

“Big anniversaries marking historical events like the Battle of Flodden don’t come around very often.  It has been great to get involved with local schools, delving deep into the history of the battle, and I was especially delighted to take part in the quincentenary event held at Etal Village at the start of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Project.

“This exhibition showcasing the last four years is a fitting finale to a great project, which has involved groups of both young and old, and people of all abilities.  This event is no different, it is suitable for people of all ages, and what child doesn’t like the opportunity to dress up?”

Flodden was probably the most significant encounter between Scotland and England and resulted in huge casualties for the Scots as well as the death of King James IV.  It was a brutal battle and one which marked the end of truly ‘medieval’ warfare.

Showcasing the success of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Project, over one hundred people turned out for the opening of the first exhibition at Berwick Museum and Art Gallery on 18th June 2016.  

Alistair Bowden, the project coordinator is delighted to be able to offer visitors to the exhibition the opportunity to meet the Flodden archer as he mentions here: “This really is a great opportunity for people to come along to learn about archery and what it would have been like to fight with a longbow at the time of the Battle of Flodden. (The last time the longbow, archetypal distance weapon of the medieval English army, was used in battle before it was surpassed by the primitive hand gun – the arquebus).  I’m sure that everyone will enjoy meeting Rusty and experiencing how the skill of the archer would have impacted on the battle.”

The £1.3m project, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery fund, aimed to raise the profile and tell the story of the Battle of Flodden, whilst leaving a lasting legacy for communities in north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.  The exhibition will chart this journey and celebrate its success, in the voices, words and activities of all who participated, and continue to take part.

The exhibition is currently running at the Berwick Museum & Art Gallery from 18 June - 29 August 2016, and will move to the Coldstream Museum from the 9 September - 31 October 2016.

‘Meet the Flodden Archer,’ is free to all ages and no booking is required.  For further information about this event contact the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery on 01289 309538,

For further information about the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Project visit www.flodden1513.com

Published: Thursday 14/07/2016

By Visit Northumberland

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The museum is housed in the historic Berwick Barracks and contains historical town artefacts and part of Sir William Burrel's art collection.

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