Re-enactors get set to take the road to Pinkie

Soldiers from the Lothian Levy re-enactment group.
Soldiers from the Lothian Levy re-enactment group.

Among the events making up this year’s Borders Heritage Festival are a number of re-enactments marking the Borders’ role in the biggest battle ever to have been fought in Scotland – the Battle of Pinkie.

It’s set to be fought again for the first time since 1547 as part of a spectacular weekend of events at Newhailes Estate in East Lothian on September 16 and 17.

However, before this, The Borders Heritage Festival will include three events as part of The Road to Pinkie, which sees re-enactors (the Lothian Levy) following the route taken by the English invading army as they marched north to battle.

Arran Johnston, director of the Scottish Battlefield Trust said: “The Battle of Pinkie was the biggest battle ever to be fought in Scotland.

“I’m therefore really excited about bringing some of that drama back to life at this major re-enactment in September. I am particularly delighted to be working with the Borders Heritage Festival to present this series of ‘Road to Pinkie’ events.

“The people of the Borders played a major role in the Pinkie campaign and its aftermath, and it’s great to see this heritage recognised as part of this year’s festival.

“Tudor soldiers will become something of a familiar sight in September, especially during our long walk from Eyemouth up to East Lothian. I encourage people to stop us along the way to talk to us about what’s going on – we’ll welcome the rest and the opportunity to tell everyone about it.”

The Road to Pinkie kicks off at Hume Castle 1pm-9pm on Saturday, September 2 (entry free) with a medieval re-enactment, storytelling, living history events, storytelling, songs and castle tours.

This is also an opportunity to see the Kelso Laddie, Greenlaw Maid and entourage ride in on horseback to open the event. Visitors will be able to witness Lady Hume’s surrender on the battlements and the Hume Banner (Marchmont Standard) flaunted for the first time in many centuries.

The next day will see a reading of the Duke of Somerset’s proclamation to the People of Scotland at Eyemouth town centre at noon, followed by a short stroll along the coastal path to Eyemouth Fort for skirmishes and living history displays. An exhibition and video presentation will be housed in the adjoining holiday park and VR display is available at Eyemouth Museum. Refreshments and facilities served at the adjoining holiday park. A ship’s lantern will be housed on the site of the fort for three nights.

The Lothian Levy will return to Eyemouth Fort (Entry Free) the following week to begin a force march in The Road to Pinkie on September 7 at 10am.

Soldiers will pass Coldingham and Pass of Pease into East Lothian. From the 1540 fort at Dunglass to the ruined castle at Innerwick, and Dunbar.

The final leg of the journey will take them through Prestonpans, Morison’s Haven and Wallyford to Pinkie Battlefield itself. They will reach the memorial stone for the commemorative service on Sunday, September 10.