A museum with no walls. It's just the place to display a battlefield

About Britain

A new project to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden is taking a groundbreaking approach to the presentation of history. And though this fifth centenary won't take place until 2013, much of this new "museum" is already there to see.

The recently designated Flodden 1513 Eco-Museum, which will straddle the border between Scotland and Northumberland, will be the first of its kind in England and the first cross-border eco-museum in the UK.

But what is an eco-museum? You might think it's about the environment, but "eco" is derived from the Greek "ekos", meaning "house" or "whole", and this will, essentially, be a museum without walls, a collection of sites grouped around a common theme.

"The closest idea to the concept is a trail," says James Joicey, chair of the Flodden 2013 steering group. "But these tend to be top-down projects, imposed by tourism organisations. Our eco-museum will be a sustainable, community-led way of presenting and managing the heritage of Flodden."

And Flodden – the largest battle ever fought between the English and the Scots – is surely the perfect subject. Scattered across the border area are a number of sites connected to the event, yet their significance and inter-relationships can go unnoticed in such a remote spot. Access for tourists is a challenge.

Sustainability is achieved by innovations, such as the virtual visitor centre – a website (flodden1513.com). Community groups will help research local history and contribute with projects such as a commemorative stained-glass window for Coldstream Church.

The idea is that once a visitor's imagination is captured at one of the sites, they will be offered ideas on which site they should go to next. Along the way, it is hoped local businesses, such as village shops and B&Bs, will benefit from increased tourism.

Heatherslaw Corn Mill is one of 12 sites included in the project's first phase. A working mill at the time of the battle – and still functioning today – it re-creates the life of the medieval miller, but its connection to Flodden goes unmentioned at present. Soon, branded signage – including codes offering access to information via smartphones – will point the visitor to Flodden Field. There's even talk of a Flodden flapjack.

A calendar of commemorative events is planned for 2013, but the Flodden 1513 project won't stop there. A second phase of sites is due to be included in the museum and community participation will continue to be rolled out. "We hope," says Mr Joicey, "that this could become a model to run with."


The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments