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Stirling Castle to mark Flodden Anniversary

26 August 2013

Stirling Castle will provide the focal point for a series of activities next month to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

The battle took place on 9 September 1513, when James IV led a Scottish army into Northumberland, where they were met by an English force. The Scots suffered a heavy defeat, and James became the last king in European history to die in battle.

He was succeeded by his one-year-old son, who was crowned James V at Stirling and became one of Scotland’s most celebrated monarchs.

Both of these events will be remembered at the castle throughout September culminating in a signature event, After Flodden – Commemoration and Coronation, on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September.  

The weekend will chart the events leading up to the Battle of Flodden and its immediate aftermath. It will also explore the coronation of James V.

The programme will include a series of interpretative performances by costumed interpreters, bringing to life the events of 1513. Audiences can witness James IV’s wife Margaret Tudor receiving word of her husband’s death, discussing her son, the new king, and reflecting on her ambitious brother Henry VIII. There will also be an interpretation of the coronation of the infant King James V.

On the 22nd September, the Scottish Chamber Choir will be performing a unique concert in the Castle’s Great Hall – a building commissioned by James IV.

The choir will perform music by the 16th-century Scottish composers David Peebles, Andro Kemp and Robert Johnson, alongside the work of Scotland’s most prominent living composer, James MacMillan.

Meanwhile, artist Iona Leishman will be unveiling an exhibition on the 8th September entitled Catastrophe to Crown which will feature artwork inspired by the battle and its aftermath, which will help tell the story to visitors. The exhibition will run until the 30th September.

From the 9th to the 22nd September (Mon-Fri only) there will also be special tours for visitors which will focus on the contribution of James IV, who commissioned much of the castle that can still be seen to this day, and his wider legacy.

Dr Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning at Historic Scotland, who run Stirling Castle said: “Flodden was a key event in Scotland’s history, and Stirling played an important role in its story. It was home to King James IV; it was the place where his noblemen re-grouped in defeat and where an infant prince was crowned king.

“James IV was a king who established his credentials as a European monarch, firmly embracing the art and learning of the Renaissance court. He did this partly by commissioning magnificent buildings – including the Great Hall which can still be seen at the castle to this day.

“The unexpected loss of the king at Flodden had a wide-reaching impact on Scotland. Throughout much of September we will be sharing this story with visitors.”

For more information visit

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland has 345 historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at

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For further information

Iona Matheson
Media & PR Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858