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Ford and Etal

Nominate your community site as part of the Flodden Ecomuseum

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  May 2, 2012 | 0 Comments
Flodden Field

Flodden Field, shutterstock.com

The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum is looking to expand by a further 25 sites and is seeking nominations from across the UK for sites which relate to the Battle of Flodden.

The sites can relate either directly or indirectly and which will help in the development of the network of the Ecomuseum. The search for new sites is part of the development phase for the wider Flodden 500 project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Flodden 500 project application is the first substantial cross-border project that the HLF has considered and approved in recent years. The project will include new cross-border archaeological and historical research, cross-border education initiatives and commemorative events as well as the extension of the existing Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum sites from 12 to perhaps 30-40.

The aim of seeking nominations is to identify a long list of as many Flodden-related sites as possible. This list will be distilled down to a preferred list of sites – perhaps 15 in Scotland and 10 in England to equal the balance of sites each side of the border, which will be included in the full Flodden 500 HLF application.

If this application is successful these sites will be added into the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum with their own web pages, leaflets and new interpretation.

At present the 12 sites that make up the Flodden Ecomuseum are:

  • Flodden Battlefield
  • Branxton Church
  • Etal Castle
  • Heatherslaw Mill
  • Coldstream Museum and Priory
  • Twizel Bridge
  • Norham Castle
  • Ladykirk Church
  • Barmoor Castle
  • Weetwood Bridge
  • The Fletcher Monument (Selkirk)
  • The Flodden Wall (Edinburgh).

The September 9 2013 will mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, fought in the north of Northumberland between James IV of Scotland and Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, on behalf of Henry VIII of England. (See more detail about the battle and its consequences below).

In 2008 a committee, Flodden 500, was convened by the owner of the Battlefield, Lord Joicey of Ford and Etal Estates, and over the last four years this group has worked towards developing a framework within which an appropriate commemoration might occur.

As a first step, through the auspices of the Glendale Gateway Trust, a grant was successfully sought in 2010 from the European Northumberland Uplands LEADER+ fund to establish a network of Flodden related sites, known as the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum. This, the first ecomuseum in England, is a community driven initiative to protect and celebrate the heritage of northern Northumberland and Scotland, linking 12 sites (four in Scotland and eight  in England) together through a website – Flodden1513.com – along with common marketing and branding.

Nominations for new sites to be included in the Ecomuseum might come from the fact that, for example, someone lives next to York Minster, Edinburgh Castle or Linlithgow Palace and thinks that these nationally iconic buildings should be included for their part in the build-up to the battle. Or perhaps someone knows that their local church includes a memorial to the men of the village, town or city who went to the battle.

Nominations could also be based on the fact that local or national museum have banners or flags, swords or armour that were at the battle. Or maybe that a particular community or location is the site of a legend, story or a tradition that is born of the battle. The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum can connect sites of all type and scale.

If any individual, community group, society or organisation know of a link to Flodden and would like to be involved in the building the Flodden1513 Ecomuseum network to commemorate the quincentenary of the Battle, the Flodden 500 group would urge them to get in touch and nominate their site.

Nominations are being sought under six categories:

  • Sites that form part of the Battle Landscape
  • Sites that form part of the wider indirect battle landscape
  • Sites that memorialise the events of the Flodden Campaign
  • Sites that have an association by legend or story or which have led to the forming of community tradition
  • Sites that are associated by possession of an artefact related to the battle
  • Sites of the same date that help us understand the 16th Century landscape of Flodden.
  • Site of the same type that inform issues of Border Warefare.

More information and nomination forms can be found on the Ecomuseum website www.flodden1513.com. Additionally, the group can be contacted to discuss nominations by emailing contact@flodden1513.com. The deadline for nominations is June 17, 2012.

Background and history

The Battle of Flodden was fought between the King of Scotland, James IV, and the Earl of Surrey (Thomas Howard) on behalf of the King of England, Henry VIII. The Scottish Campaign began during August of 1513 and ended on the 9th of September 1513 with the primary engagement at Flodden Field (also known as Branxton Moor). At the end of the campaign the Scottish king and most of his noble party lay dead, as did as many as 10,000 ordinary Scotsmen.

This battle, though triggered by Henry’s invasion of France in the Summer of 1513, was really about statehood and kingship and Henry’s lack of respect for the Scottish King (20 years his senior) since coming to the throne four years earlier.

In a rising atmosphere of threat and insult, James IV invaded England on August 22 1513 – within 18 days he lay dead on the Battlefield of Flodden, by the small village of Branxton, less than five miles south of the Scottish Border.

It would be the last time a British monarch was to die on the battlefield at the head of his army, and Flodden is often remembered solely for this reason.

It was however a national tragedy, particularly for the Scots, with estimates of their total dead, both during and in the aftermath of the battle, ranging from 10-20000 men, women and children.

This was a tragedy that has echoed down the ages and today forms the basis of traditions that still drive aspects of the Common Riding festivals that dominate the summer months in the Scottish borderlands. It spawned legend and literature and for a generation left Scotland without effective leadership at all levels. Perhaps more relevant today, with renewed calls for Scottish independence, is the battle’s status as the trigger that ultimately led to the Union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, under James VI of Scotland, barely 90 years after that fateful slaughter.

The Battle of Flodden stands as a reminder of the hubris of Kings and nation states and of how the politics of sleight can get rapidly out of hand, effecting us all. For many years it has fallen out of the national memory of both Scotland and England, being commemorated almost exclusively in the border areas though the Common Riding festivals and at the site of the memorial cross on the battlefield itself.

Yet with the impending quincentenary interest in the events of the summer of 1513 is increasing again and has led to a number of projects aimed at creating both a fitting commemoration for the battle and also a lasting legacy of sustainable development through the commemoration.

Flodden 500

Flodden 500 is the over-arching project under which applications are being made to funders to support the commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Battle of Flodden (9th September 1513 – 9th September 2013). The aim of Flodden 500 is not only to facilitate an appropriate commemoration of this anniversary but to create a lasting legacy for the area of North Northumberland and the Scottish Borders which helps with continued commemoration as well as providing sustainable development for the area through tourism and management of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum

Flodden1513.com

Flodden1513.com is the existing ecomuseum created by implementing the Northumberland Upland LEADER grant received in the Autumn of 2010 by the Flodden 500 project. Also known simply as Flodden 1513 this ecomuseum currently includes 12 sites, selected through community consultation during the Spring of 2011. These are:

  • Flodden Battlefield
  • Branxton Church
  • Etal Castle
  • Heatherslaw Mill
  • Coldstream Museum and Priory
  • Twizel Bridge
  • Norham Castle
  • Ladykirk Church
  • Barmoor Castle
  • Weetwood Bridge
  • The Fletcher Monument (Selkirk)
  • The Flodden Wall (Edinburgh).

These sites are linked together by common branding, the Flodden1513.com website and a suite of leaflets.

Flodden1513.com is formed as a limited company to manage the ecomuseum with Lord James Joicey and George Farr as its directors and representatives from a range of bodies (including Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council and the community) on its advisory Committee. Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Ltd has acted as the applicant for on-going grants with the HLF.

Ecomuseums

Well-established on the continent where it was developed in the 1970s primarily in France, Italy and Sweden, the term ecomuseum is still a new concept in the UK. It is a community driven venture that links together existing and new attractions to help preserve the heritage and traditions of local communities around a central theme.
While there are over 600 ecomuseums worldwide, in places diverse as Japan, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Iran and Canada, Flodden 1513 is the first ecomuseum in England, the first cross-border ecomuseum in Britain and the second to be established in Scotland.

An ecomuseum aims to support and empower the community to develop and manage its own heritage, helping it to conserve its resources and traditions, while encouraging tourist and community members alike to enjoy visiting and using its constituent sites in a sustainable way.

The process by which the Flodden 1513 ecomuseum was established began with the identification of 12 sites (8 in England and 4 in Scotland) from a list over 20 suggestions which members of the Borders and North Northumberland community felt were important to them. These sites are intimately connected to the story and legacy of Flodden and represent the events before, during and after the battle.  They have a deep resonance within contemporary border culture, much of which today has its roots in the events of 1513.

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