Battle of Flodden: Almost 300 horses left at battlefield were found new homes

Almost 300 horses which survived the Battle of Flodden were found new homes, research has found

An artist's impression of horses in the Battle of Flodden, supplied by English Heritage
An artist's impression of horses in the Battle of Flodden, supplied by English Heritage

Evidence has come to light of forgotten casualties of a famous battle 500 years ago – almost 300 horses.

Thousands of soldiers died when England and Scotland clashed at Flodden in Northumberland in 1513.

Now however, it has emerged that 297 horses which were ridden in the battle remained at the site afterwards when their riders either fled or were killed.

The horses were given away after the battle and a document from the time has now been unearthed which gives in-depth detail into each animal, its colour, stance and new owner.

The document, from the National Archives, has been transcribed by volunteers from the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, a conceptual linking of sites connected to the battle.

Linda Bankier, Berwick archivist and head of the team of transcribers of the document, said: “The catalogued horses were distributed in Northumberland, Cumberland, North Yorkshire and Lancashire.

“It is thought that the horses were given out to people who were still up North and had taken part in the Battle of Flodden. The volunteers that took part in the transcription thoroughly enjoyed the process, this was a document that had not been read for hundreds of years.

“To get such great detail on the colours, size even the description of ears of horses from that time was quite unprecedented and really very special.”

The results of the research will be displayed to the public for the first time on Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30, at Heatherslaw Mill, one of over 40 ecomuseum sites.

This will be combined with a range of associated family activities. Jane Miller, education officer for the ecomuseum, said: “We really think the two days will attract a great deal of interest. The activities on the day will range from clay modelling, to creating horses from felt and the children will also be involved in writing our very own horse document complete with quill to replicate the original.

“It is very important to the Flodden Ecomuseum team that children of all ages have the opportunity to learn about the battle which helped shape our nation.”

Milfield Heavy Horse Association will be in attendance with one of its Clydesdale horses.

Anyone who would like to take part in the activity or who would like further information on the activities taking place in connection with Flodden 1513 can visit www.flodden1513.com or contact Jane via email at JMiller@woodhorn.org.uk

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