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Flodden museum secures £888,000 lottery cash

It was one of Scotland's bloodiest battles, which claimed the life of the King and influenced the course of history.

Now, a project to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden has been awarded £887,300 in lottery funding.

Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum will use the money to bring together the communities of the Scottish and Northumbrian border areas to mark the anniversary in 2013, through its Flodden 500 project.

Ivor Crowther, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, described the 500th anniversary as an important opportunity to commemorate the battle.

He said: "With the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the site will be opened up much more widely to encourage dialogue about this historic battle and how it has impacted on communities from both sides of the Border."

Lord Joicey of Ford and Etal Estates, on whose land the battle site is predominantly located and who is a director of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, said: "It is wonderful the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to support the application by the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum to ensure Flodden not only reaches a wide audience among schoolchildren, amateur researchers and all those who want to increase their skills in archaeology and palaeography but also to build up the geographical and cultural connections through enlarging the ecomuseum itself.

"The significance of Flodden in the story of our nations is too often overlooked."

The last of the great medieval battles, Flodden in Northumberland was a cataclysmic defeat for Scotland. It claimed the life of James IV and most of the Scottish nobility at the hands of the Earl of Surrey's army.

The Flodden 500 committee was set up to commemorate the anniversary of the battle. As well as increasing the number of physical sites of the ecomuseum, the money will go towards a discovery programme, which will include archaeological excavations, surveying, metal detecting and interpreting 16th-century documents.

There will also be two local exhibitions and a travelling exhibition which will tour the area. Education officers will be employed to run a school and site-based learning programme to raise awareness of this nationally significant battle.

The windfall announcement comes a week after it was reported Lady Steel, wife of Lord Steel, the former Liberal Party leader, had resigned from the Flodden 500 committee after a proposed memorial garden design by world-renowned landscape artist Kim Wilkie, free of charge, was rejected. The committee voted to concentrate instead on its own drawings.

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