Flodden 500 Project Leaves Lasting Legacy

A new Flodden website has been launched to round off the £1.3m project that renewed the interest of thousands of people in one of the defining battles between Scotland and England.

After four successful years, the Flodden 500 project has come to an end. It was supported by a grant of £877,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and also included over a quarter of a million pounds of volunteer time.

Set up in 2013 to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, the Flodden 500 project supported hundreds of community volunteers who took part in archaeological fieldwork, documentary research and the setting up of an ecomuseum.

Through the project’s learning programme more than 10,000 schoolchildren have discovered how James IV and the cream of Scotland’s aristocracy died alongside thousands of their men on the Northumbrian hillside.

Now, to celebrate the end of the project, the new, updated website, www.flodden1513ecomuseum.org incorporates all of the project’s findings. This includes a large number of articles brought together under the title Flodden: Legends and Legacy, which draw together all the activities that members of the local community have been involved with between December 2012 and December 2016.

It includes an introduction to ecomuseums, the documentary research projects at Berwick and Hawick, the school education programme and the Young Archaeologists’ Club, all written by volunteers, teachers, school children and the project staff.

There are more detailed chapters on the geology and landscape of Flodden, prehistoric finds, the routes taken by the Scottish army, and the excavations that took place at Ellem and Windy Windshiel, Wark, Norham, Ladykirk, Flodden Hill and the battlefield.

The considerable new light thrown on the campaign from the transcription of documents is also covered, including the accounts for feeding the English army, the ships that were brought to Newcastle and their provisions, the Alnwick Muster Roll and the distribution of horses after the battle.

A final summary chapter draws these various threads together to answer the question: What have we learnt? Though some of these chapters have been written by professional project staff, most have been written by volunteers from the local communities who have learnt new skills through the project.

An Evaluation Report commissioned for the Heritage Lottery Fund concludes:
“Overall the project has been highly successful: This evaluation report will show that this was due to excellent and thorough planning at the outset, an adaptable and flexible Steering Group and staff, and at the base of it all, strong founding principles, based on a ground-up approach, central to the ethos of the Ecomuseum. This has resulted in a higher profile for the Battle and the Ecomuseum, new independent archaeological activity led by project volunteers and an Ecomuseum which is now acting as a model to others.”

Lord Joicey, a director of the Flodden 1513 project, said: “More than 60 people attended a final public event in Etal last December and there was a lively discussion about the future. The result was more than 50 ideas for new projects.

“So, as well as the enlarged and continuing Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, the Flodden 500 project has acted as a catalyst to a variety of community groups who are now looking to the future. Watch this space to see what happens next! But whatever happens, it would not have been possible without the efforts of the project staff, all of whom have given their very best to this project.”