03 Mar Conflict in a landscape: The Battle of Otterburn
The Battle of Otterburn was fought in August 1388 between the young Harry ‘Hotspur’ Percy and the Earl of Douglas. Today the site of the battlefield is marked by Percy’s Cross. It is designated by Historic England as a Registered Battlefield. Further details on the battle can be found on this link to the Battlefields Trust website: The Battle of Otterburn
The Battle of Otterburn is one of the best documented medieval battles thanks to the accounts of the medieval historian Jean Froissart. We plan to work with landscape and battlefield archaeologists to reconstruct the medieval landscape and answer some of the questions as to the location and action of the battle. Alongside ground survey work, it is likely that the project will also involve some limited areas of excavation to locate the site of the Scottish camps. We also hope to extend this project to Elsdon where in the nineteenth century, a large number of skeletons were found close to the walls of Elsdon parish church and some were identified as the remains of casualties from the Battle of Otterburn. The team of archaeologists working on this project also led investigations at the Battle of Bosworth, and regard the Otterburn battlefield site as an opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge in medieval battlefield archaeology.
Following completion of the research and investigations at Otterburn battlefield site, we will work in partnership with the Battlefields Trust and Otterburn Parish Council to develop high quality interpretation at the Percy Cross picnic site. This will include improvements to the current parking and picnic tables, an interpretative walkway up to a battlefield viewing area to tell the story of the battle using lines from the ballad of the ‘Battle of Otterburn’, and a reflective space around the Percy Cross, with seating. We hope to also develop a walk around the area with a linked app for mobile phones, using existing public rights of way.