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Battle of Pinkie re-enactment weekend - 16 and 17 September 2017 at Newhailes Estate, East Lothian


The Battle of Pinkie of 1547, the biggest battle ever to take place on Scottish soil, is set to be fought again as part of a weekend of re-enactment and history events presented by the Scottish Battlefields Trust. Read new research on where and how the Battle of Pinkie was fought, in History Scotland essays part I.

The event, which takes place on 16 and 17 September 2017, invites visitors to step back in time for two days of activities taking place at Newhailes Estate in East Lothian. They will be able to witness:

  • a dramatic re-enactment of the battle complete with a thunderous cavalry charge
  • walk through historical encampments
  • meet the characters behind these great events
  • try their hand at Tudor archery
  • take part in a variety of family-friendly activities

The Battle of Pinkie

The Battle of Pinkie took place in September 1547, when the armies of Scotland and England fought to determine who should marry the infant Mary Queen of Scots. The larger Scottish army attacked across the River Esk into the teeth of ferocious cavalry charges and a hail of arrows, cannon and gunshot. The outcome was a calamitous defeat for the Scots, with some reporting up to 10,000 dead.

But far from securing union with England, the effect of the battle was to push Scotland closer to France, where Mary was subsequently betrothed to the Dauphin. The battle is significant in military history because of the pioneering combination of horse, foot and artillery with supporting fire from naval vessels, which makes Pinkie one of the first modern battles to be fought in Britain.

The battle that changed history

Arran Johnston, Director of the Scottish Battlefields Trust said: “The Battle of Pinkie was truly one of Scotland’s biggest and most dramatic battles and I’m delighted that we’re able to bring it back to life for the first time – allowing the opportunity to truly understand its significance. With fascinating living history encampments, hands-on activities for all the family, and spectacular battle recreations, this wonderful historical event is not to be missed. We hope this event is the start of growing recognition for a battle that changed the course of history, and is something that will encourage greater protection for the battlefield site in future years.”

Event details

The main event is taking place in the parkland at Newhailes House, a fascinating 18th century property in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Tickets to the event cost £6 for adults and £3 for children and can be purchased online or on the day. For more information, tickets to the re-enactment and full programme, visit the website.

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