Flodden Battlefield Grave Search Begins

A memorial to the fallen at Flodden

A memorial to the fallen at Flodden

Archaeologists and volunteers are set to begin the search for body pits from Scotland’s worst ever battlefield defeat. Beginning work in early September, archaeologists hope the successful location and excavation of the mass graves of the Battle of Flodden could lead to their official designation as war graves and thus granted protection under law as ancient monuments.

Located in Northumberland, around 10,000 Scottish troops were thought to have died in the 1513 battle, which ended a disastrous invasion of England. The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Project is seeking volunteers to help with the dig, saying bodies of fallen troops will be identified but not exhumed.

Christopher Burgess, the Flodden 1513 Project Archaeological Manger explains the background further: “We are acutely aware that these are war graves and will be treating any remains found with the utmost respect. There is an overriding aim to locate these body pits so that the last resting places of some of the dead of both nations who fell on Flodden Field 500 years ago can be protected.”

Alistair Bowden, a project manager at Flodden 1513, said Ordnance Survey mappers found four burial pits in the 19th century. He said: “There are four body pits in those early maps. But they’re not registered or protected.” New techniques could mean the team will unearth more body pits, and archaeologists are hopeful more resting places will be discovered.

The 9th of September 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the battle, and to commemorate a large number of Clan Home/Hume members will visit the historic site on the exact day the battle was fought. The Homes fought under the then Lord Home against the English. Over 100 members are flying in from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA, Europe, Canada and the British Isles.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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