The site of the Battle of Halidon Hill (1333) which saw the army of King Edward III defeat a Scottish Army led by Sir Archibald Douglas during an attempt to relieve a siege of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Reasons for Designation
Halidon Hill was the 20-year-old Edward III's military baptism. Here he learnt how powerful a combination of archers and dismounted men-at-arms could prove. Crecy and Poitiers, later in his reign, would show that the tactics first tested against the Scots could be equally effective against the mounted knights of France. The topography allows a clear understanding of the course of the battle despite the change in landscape character.
The expulsion of Edward Balliol from the Scottish throne in a coup just before Christmas 1332 prompted his sponsor, King Edward III of England, to open hostilities against Scotland by besieging Berwick-upon-Tweed, which had been retaken by the Scots in 1318. In an attempt to relieve Berwick, a Scottish army gave battle against Edward III and Edward Balliol.
The Scots waited until after midday to attack, and marched across boggy ground to meet the English, but buckled under a hail of arrows. The bloodiest fighting was on the right half of the English line, where the battle continued throughout the day. Eventually the English prevailed and pursued the remaining Scots northwards. Berwick fell the next day.
The battlefield, which in 1333 was uncultivated scrub and marsh, now shows a patchwork of fields characteristic of Parliamentary enclosure in around 1800, at which time the land was drained and improved.
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment to the Selected Sources on 10/04/2019