Flodden 500 theme to this year’s heritage festival

Flodden battle re-enactment weekend at Etal village.
Flodden battle re-enactment weekend at Etal village.

THE Borders Heritage Festival – In Flodden’s Wake – which focuses on the famous battle in its 500th anniversary year, starts region-wide today.

The 17-day event will include performances of Soddin’ Flodden, telling the story of James IV and his defeat at the battle, the ‘Red Rose, White Rose’ dramatic reading of an imagined exchange between Margaret Tudor, wife of James IV, and his mistress Janet Bairars the night before the battle, with music played on 16th century instruments. And this year, the national Doors Open Day takes place in and around Peebles, as well as guided walks,

Council archeology officer Chris Bowles said: “Some of the highlights include the ranger-led walks around the Hirsel, Ancrum and Philiphaugh, some fantastic recitals and plays, and most importantly, the various commemorative events to be held around the Borders and at Flodden itself.

I think people will be want to feel the connections to Flodden and will hopefully gain a greater awareness of the rich cultural heritage that stems directly from it.”

On Monday, the free ‘500 Years To The Hour’ battlefield guided walk starts at the Flodden monument at 3.30pm.

Booking is advised.

On Wednesday, The Toun, a Flag and a Battlefield is a three-hour walk led by Mr Bowles, which will include Peel Hill and the Battle of Philiphaugh.

On Saturday, September 14, council rangers will lead the Bowhill Slain Man’s Lea three-mile walk at Bowhill, Selkirk.

Mr Bowles and a council ranger lead a six-mile walk in the footsteps of King James IV on his way to Flodden field from Coldstream on Wednesday, September 18.

And on Sunday, September 22, Mr Bowles will lead a walk looking at the archaeology of Ancrum, including visiting Wanton Walls, Ancrum Kirk, Castle Hill and Ancrum Park. For more information visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/heritageweek