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NORTH EAST ENGLAND 

BATTLEFIELD AND MILITARY HERITAGE 

If you are  looking for something to do for an afternoon while on holiday somewhere in Britian, we can find a local expert guide for the battlefield and arrange a tour for you.  

 

The North East contains several battlefields, mostly from the Anglo-Scottish wars, as well as a large number of castles. Hadrian’s Wall and its associated forts are rich in Roman remains, while mementos of more recent conflicts are to be found in the region’s regimental museums and at the site of the Hartlepool Bombardment.
 


Events in North East England 

If you are planning a tour to Britian, and would like to take in some of the spectacle of our military heritage we can help you to take advantage of the dozens of re-enactment and other events staged around the country.


We will be adding an events calendar so you can see what is on and where!

Norham Castle

The ruin of a castle which was the sight of several seiges in the long border strugles as well as being besiged by King John in 1217

Hedgeley Moor Battlefield , 25 April 1464

1n 1464 a Lancastrian army  ttemtped to ambush a Yorkist party escroting Scoittish emissaries.  They were beated and the famous Percey's leap stone commerates the action on  Hedgely Moor near Mortpeth 

Otterburn Battlefield 1388

A Scots force under James, Earl of Douglas, raided Northumberland in 1388. Returning they were attacked at Otterburn by Henry Percy (Henry Hotspur)'s English army. The Scots eventually prevailed and Hotspur was captured but Douglas was killed. The character of the battlefield is well preserved, and features a monument and interpretive panels with a public right of way through the middle of the site.

Hexham Battlefield

The battle of Hexham resultyed in deht defeat of the Lancastrians in the North in1464 in the wars of the Roses.  The battlefield of Hexham is set in picturesque countryside

Hadrian’s Wall

The most important Roman monument in Britain, Hadrian’s Wall has a number of associated forts and museums to visit. Housesteads, set on a dramatic stretch of the wall, is Britain’s most complete Roman fort, with a museum and exhibition plus special events in the summer. Other key sites along the wall include Chesters cavalry fort and museum; Corbridge Roman town; and Roman Vindolanda, a live archaeological site with a Roman Army Museum. 

North East Aircraft Museum and Military Vehicle Museum

Over 30 aircraft in various phases of restoration are on display in the Aircraft Museum, along with many aero engines and other material about aviation history in the North East. The same site, the former RAF Usworth between Washington and Sunderland, is now home to the military vehicle collection previously held in Newcastle. Exhibits include searchlights, Saracen and Ferret armoured cars and a replica First World War trench donated by Channel 4 TV.

Durham Light Infantry  Museum Durham

The official museum of the Durham Light Infantry, housing a collection of uniforms, equipment, weapons, silver, photographs and battlefield relics from 1758 to 1968. Its Medal Room holds over 3000 medals including seven original Victoria Crosses. Other displays illustrate the regiment’s role in the two World Wars. Located in Aykley Heads House,Durham.

 

Tynemouth Castle

 on a rocky headland overlooking the North Sea and River Tyne, Tynemouth Castle and Priory once formed one of the largest fortified areas in England. The interactive ‘Life in the Stronghold’ exhibition traces its history from Anglo-Saxon times to castle, artillery fort and coastal defence installation. Also contains a restored gun battery built to defend the Tyne in the two World Wars

Flodden Battlefield 

Scene of a clash between the English and Scots in 1513, after James IV of Scotland invaded in support of his ally France, itself invaded by Henry VIII’s army. The Scots having taken the high ground, the English then went round them and attacked from the north. The English forces led by the Earl of Surrey prevailed, killing King James and many of his nobles. The present day battlefield has a monument with information displays and the course of the battle can be easily traced. Nearby Etal Castle has an exhibition about Flodden.

Homildon Hill Battlefield

In 1402 a Scots army pushed as far south as Newcastle but found its retreat blocked by an English force under the Earl of Northumberland and his son Henry Percy (aka Henry Hotspur). The English archers once more showed their superiority and won the day. The site is now known as Humbleton Hill but the landscape is not much changed, with access to the English and the Scots’ positions.

Halidon Hill battlefield

Sparked by the Scots’ attempt in 1333 to relieve Berwick, then besieged by an English force under Edward III. Notable for the successful deployment of archers by the English, a tactic later replicated in their battles with the French. The English pushed the Scots back and went on to capture Berwick. A circular walk around the hill gives access to the English positions.

Bamburgh Castle

Once home to the Kings of Northumbria, later an important Border garrison and stronghold against the Scots. During the Wars of the Roses Henry VI was besieged here by Lord Warwick’s forces; it became the first English castle to be destroyed by artillery attack. While most of the present structure dates from Victorian times the castle commands a dramatic aspect overlooking the North Sea shore. 

Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne

Primarily a science and local history museum, Discovery also contains the regimental museum for the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars and the Northumberland Hussars. A ‘hands on’ museum designed for both children and adults, its exhibitions include A Soldier’s Life which tells the story of 200 years of life in the army.

The Castle Keep and Black Gate, Newcastle

Of the castle that gave Newcastle its name, the Castle Keep, its fortified stone tower, and the Black Gate, a fortified gatehouse, are the only substantial remnants. The Castle Keep dates from the 10th century and the Black Gate from the 11th century. During the Civil War the castle was the last stronghold of the Royalists when in 1644 the Scots laid siege to the town for three months until the garrison surrendered. The East Coast main rail line now runs through the castle grounds.

Hartlepool's Maritime Experience

A re-creation of an 18th century seaport at the time of the Napoleonic wars. Its centrepiece is the Royal Navy frigate HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship still afloat. The historic quayside features period shops and houses and the Hartlepool Museum includes a display about the Bombardment of 1914 and the fighting ships exibition which provides an insight into the experience of fightign at the time of Nelson;

Heugh Battery, Hartlepool

One of three gun batteries built in 1860 to guard the port. Its guns saw action in the Bombardment of Hartlepool on 16 December 1914 when German battle cruisers shelled the town. One shell landed close by the battery and caused the war’s first death in action of a soldier on British soil. There is a commemorative plaque just outside the gun battery which now contains a museum and artillery collection. The bombardment prompted outrage at the extent of civilian casualties.

Berwick-upon-Tweed Barracks and Town Walls

Inside one of the first purpose built barracks in England, ‘By the Beat of Drum’ tells the story of the British infantryman from the Civil War to the First World War. Also within the barracks is The King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum, which contains uniforms, badges, medals, weapons and relics from various campaigns, and the Main Guard, an exhibition about Berwick's social and military history. Nearby, Berwick’s still intact Elizabethan town walls give fine views of the Tweed estuary and the North Sea.

Alnwick Castle

Known to many as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, Alnwick Castle is the real life home of the Percys, Dukes of Northumberland. Attractions include the Harry Hotspur Exhibition about the life of Alnwick’s most famous son, the Fusiliers Museum which tells the story of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers from 1674 to the present day, and the Castle Museum of archaeology. Plus assorted Potter related events during the summer.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Standing on a remote headland on the North Sea coast are the ruins of the biggest castle in Northumberland. Started by the Earl of Lancaster in 1313 the castle later passed into the hands of John of Gaunt. Dunstanburgh played little part in the Anglo-Scottish wars but was held by the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses and was twice besieged, after which it fell into decay. Access is via a scenic coastal walk from the fishing village of Craster.

Newburn Ford Battlefield 

(28th August 1640)

The only battle of the Second Bishops' War, in 1640, provoked by King Charles I’s imposition of a new prayer book on Scotland. A Scots army crossed theTyneto attack the King’s forces from the south and forced them to retreat, thereby capturingNewcastle. The cost of raising the army and then paying off the Scots caused King Charles to call the Long Parliament. The site has been much industrialised butNewburnBridgegives a good view of the battle area.

 

Nevilles Cross Battlefield

The Scots attacked England at the request of King Phillip of France, following his defeat by the English at Crecy in 1346. Camped near Durham, the Scots were attacked by Edward III’s army. Outnumbered and outflanked the Scots army gave way and King David II of Scotland was captured. The eastern part of the battlefield has been built over but the western part remains undeveloped and accessible.