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Home > Community Matters > In the Footsteps of Flodden

In the Footsteps of Flodden

Flodden shield

In August 1513 King James IV accompanied by the majority of the Scottish aristocracy, their retainers and foot soldiers left Edinburgh to cross the Lammermuir Hills to muster at Ellemford before contesting the largest ever battle fought between England and Scotland

500 years later, to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, a dramatized walk will take place on Saturday 24th August along part of the route the army marched. Along the way an ensemble of actors drawn from the Duns Players and the Eyemouth Theatre Group will tell the story of the events surrounding this eventful period in Scottish history through a number of dramatic encounters. In a series of vignettes the participants in the walk will meet the ghosts of history.  Knights, soldiers, tenant farmers and camp followers will reveal the people, politics and social circumstances that surrounded this dark period in our history.

The walk is being organised by the Cranshaws Ellemford and Longformacus Community Council in collaboration with the dramatic talents of the Duns Players and the Eyemouth Theatre Group. Everyone is invited to participate in the walk to enjoy history being brought to life during this unique event


Description of Walk

Total distance – 13miles     Total ascent – 500meters

This free walk will start at Nunraw Abbey, near Garvald and initially passes through a dean with ancient trees before climbing up past the Castle Moffat reservoir on to the Lammermuirs. This section affords magnificent views of the Forth Estuary, looking westwards to the Pentlands and Edinburgh, north to Fife and the Ochils and eastwards along the Lothian coast and the North Sea. The ridge continues south easterly to the Spartleton edge before dropping down past Johnscleugh and the ruins of Gamelshiel Tower house to the Whiteadder Valley at the Whiteadder reservoir.

The picnic site below the reservoir dam will be a lunch time assembly point and allow the opportunity for those wishing to join the group for a shorter walk. From the picnic site the route follows the Whiteadder River before turning northward to Harehead Farm. At this point another ancient track crosses the Blackcleugh Rig, allowing a high level walk with beautiful views of the Lammermuir Hills before dropping down to Ellemford where the army of King James IV camped while awaiting the Earls of Home and Angus and their men that completed the muster.



9.00am Assemble at Whiteadder Picnic Site, south of the Whiteadder Reservoir.

9.15am Shuttle Bus to Nunraw Abbey, where the walk begins

10.00am At the Abbey

            Scene 1 Signs and Portents - the tragedy of Flodden is foretold

1 mile on

Scene 2 Camp Follower - a living for some

4 miles on

Scene 3 Chasing the Army – a young lad looks for his dad

1 mile to Gamelshiel

Scene 4 The Knight and the Squire - not forgetting the horse

2 miles to picnic site

1.00pm Lunch at Whiteadder picnic site

A Marquee and entertainment from the Sma’ Hall Band will take place during lunch.

The lunch break will allow people to join the shorter 5 mile afternoon walk.



2.00pm Walk from picnic site to Harehead

Scene 5 Tenant Farmers - two crofters meet on the march to Ellemford

2 miles on

Scene 6 Come all ye Young Men - the oldest profession

At old Ellemford Kirk

Scene 7 Ghosts – Old men make war; young men die


Commemoration - In memory of those who died on both sides

As the Ghosts scene finishes a piper will lead the assembled company down to the riverside where stones picked up on route will be placed on a commemoration cairn.

6.00pm - buses to take people to Cranshaws Village Hall and Picnic site car parking

6.30 - 8.30pm - Refreshments and more entertainment from the Sma’ Hall Band at Cranshaws Village Hall


Foraging in the Footsteps

Along the way Monica Wilde will identify and gather wild plants. At the end of the day in the village hall Monica will introduce you to their likely culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses in the 16th Century.

For more information please contact David Lochhead at davidlochhead@btinternet.com