The memorial to the fallen of Flodden Field, just outside Coldstream, sets the scene for a mournful annual ceremony that brings the curtain down on the Common Ridings, when local communities throughout the Scottish Borders retrace their ancient boundaries through a series of mounted rideouts.
The Flodden 500 cross-border project, set up in 2013 to mark the 500th anniversary of the battle, supported hundreds of community volunteers who took part in archaeological fieldwork, documentary research and the setting up of an ecomuseum.
An ecomuseum is a community driven venture that links together existing and new attractions to help preserve the heritage and traditions of local communities around a central theme. The theme of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum is, of course, the Battle of Flodden.
The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum is the first in England, the first cross-border ecomuseum in Britain, and the second to be established in Scotland.
Initially it identified 12 sites (eight in England and four in Scotland) from a list of over 20 suggestions which members of Scottish borders and north Northumberland communities felt were important to them. That has since risen to 41 sites that tell the wider story of Flodden.
The sites are intimately connected to the story and legacy of Flodden and represent the events before, during and after the battle. They have a deep resonance within contemporary border culture, much of which today has its roots in the events of 1513.
After four successful years, the Flodden 500 project has come to an end. It was supported by a grant of £877,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and also included over a quarter of a million pounds of volunteer time.
Now, a new Flodden website has been launched www.flodden1513ecomuseum.org to round off the £1.3m project.
Through the project’s learning programme more than 10,000 schoolchildren have discovered how James IV and the cream of Scotland’s aristocracy died alongside thousands of their men on the Northumbrian hillside.