History will be made next month when key scenes from Northumberland’s Battle of Flodden are re-enacted to commemorate its 500th anniversary.
The recreation of the battle scenes will be the first authentic re-enactment that has ever been staged and organisers are predicting that onlookers will experience the “wow” factor.
The event is part of a living history weekend being held at Etal village in Northumberland on August 3 and 4, organised by Ford & Etal Estates as part of the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the battle.
The weekend will include medieval craft demonstrations, living history performances, a Flodden-era military camp, historical traders, food stalls, a mini beer festival and a programme of talks by experts on topics including weapons and tactics, Flodden archaeology, Sir Walter Scott and Abbotsford House.
There will also be displays in archery, steel weapons, cannons, guns, pikes and armoury.
Both days will culminate in the re-enactment of some aspects of the battle which have taken nearly three years to prepare.
“What people will see is a re-enactment that has never taken place before; something that will be entertaining as well as educational. They will feel the ‘wow’ factor,” explained Tod Booth of Armet, a re-enactment group formed specially for the event.
For Tod, the re-enactment preparations have been “a labour of love” as he has had to research and recreate everything from the weaponry, clothes and armour to the ring worn by James IV, King of Scotland.
“I’ve gone grey doing this over the last three years but it will be worth it as I am 52 and I will not live through another 500th anniversary of a big-time battle like this,” Tod said.
On the day, Armet will be joined by members of other re-enactment groups such as the Border Clansmen, the Company of St Margaret and Northern Alliance. The commentary will be by Alasdair Hutton, former MEP for the South of Scotland and commentator of the Edinburgh Tattoo.
The two day event, the Flodden & 16th Century Discovery Weekend, is building on the success of the Flodden Living History Weekend last September but will be a much bigger affair.
James Joicey of Ford & Etal Estates is sure that the weekend, which features the only planned anniversary re-enactment of the battle scenes, will appeal to people of all ages and interests.
“What is unique about this is that it will allow an insight into the times. It will depict how people lived, what they ate and how they fought. It will be a glimpse back into history.”
He added: “Ford & Etal Estates own most of the Flodden battlesite and have always felt that it would be appropriate to commemorate Flodden during 2013.
“Many well-known sites on the estate such as Heatherslaw Corn Mill, Etal Castle and Ford Church are intimately connected to the story of Flodden and are integral parts of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum.”
The speakers include Dr Tony Pollard, of BBC2’s Two Men in a Trench and director of Glasgow University’s Centre for Battlefield Archaeology; Scottish Borders Council archaeologist, Chris Bowles; acclaimed author John Sadler who will outline the weapons and tactics used at Flodden and Dr Sandra McKenzie who will give a talk on Sir Walter Scott and Abbotsford.
Beers featured at the Beer Festival will be from Hadrian & Border Brewery, Wylam Brewery and Berwick-based Bear Claw Brewery, which is producing a beer especially for the event.
For more information and times go to www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/events