Battle of Neville's Cross 1346


Heritage Category: Battlefield

List Entry Number: 1000024

Date first listed: 06-Jun-1995

Location Description: NEVILLE'S CROSS


Ordnance survey map of Battle of Neville's Cross 1346
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Location Description: NEVILLE'S CROSS

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bearpark

National Grid Reference: NZ 25736 42534



After King Edwards III's resounding victory over the French at Crecy in August 1346, the English set about besieging Calais. King Phillip of France asked his ally King David II of Scotland to provide a diversion by attacking England. The Scottish army camped outside Durham on 16 October 1346, having raided extensively in Northumberland.

King Edward's northern forces advanced on the Scots the following morning, the two armies clashing on a ridge at Neville's Cross. The Scots were disadvantaged by the uneven topography which broke their formations, but the battle was finely balanced. When one Scottish flank eventually gave way, King David found himself outnumbered and outflanked. The battle was over and David, deserted by his troops, was captured.

Neville's Cross was a shattering defeat for the Scots. When, the next year, the English followed up on their victory, they were able to occupy virtually all of Scotland south of the Forth and Clyde rivers. It took a century for the Scots to recover all that they had lost.

Only the western side of the battlefield remains undeveloped, but it has been enclosed and improved since 1346, when it was rough grazing land. Contemporary accounts tell of ditches criss-crossing the western area, perhaps marking the boundary of Beaurepaire, or Bearpark. It was only in the last century that buildings and the railway encroached upon the battlefield area.

AMENITY FEATURES Public access to the battlefield area is good by both foot and car. The terrain of the battlefield is varied and includes a number of features of historical interest both of the battle period and earlier. The cross, which was there before the battle, is surrounded by modern development.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS Most of the land in the battlefield area is within an Area of Great Landscape Value. To the west lies the Bearpark Recreation Development Area.

KEY SOURCES Laing, D (ed.), 1872, The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland by Andrew of Wyntoun Maxwell, Sir H, 1913, 'Chronicle of Lanercost', in Scottish Historical Review, X, 179


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 25

Legacy System: Battlefields


Historic England Battlefield Report, accessed 11-JUN-2015 from

End of official listing