Tolling the bell for Flodden

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A banner commissioned by the 1513 Club to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden today began its poignant horseback journey through parts of the Borders and embracing nine towns, writes Bob Burgess.

And on Sunday a special halt will be made at historic Swinton Church where the Flodden Bell will be rung.

The bell was hung in the church in 1499 and 13 years later it was tolled to sound the Flodden Death Knell after an estimated 15,000 soldiers - around 10,000 Scots – were killed in the battle at Branxton.

It is rung before each Sunday service and the church authorities are giving people the opportunity to ring the bell in memory of Flodden in this quincentenary year.

Minister, the Reverend Alan Cartwright told TheSouthern: “Because the bell was rung as a death knell after the battle it has been called the Flodden Bell, although it is actually called Mary. And after more than 500 years of use, the chain has work a groove in the sandstone wall.”

The public, of any age, can ring the bell from 3-4pm and 6-8pm on Monday (the anniversary of the September 9 battle) and Sunday, September 15.

Refreshments will be available at the church and bell ringers receive a certificate.