Battle of Neville's Cross 1346


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

Location Description:
County Durham (Unitary Authority)
County Durham (Unitary Authority)
City of Durham
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

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment to the Selected Sources on 10/04/2019


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

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English Heritage Battlefield Report: Battle of Neville's Cross (Published 1995), accessed 10th April 2019 from


This battlefield is registered within the Register of Historic Battlefields by Historic England for its special historic interest.

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