Coldstream – on the frontline of Scottish Borders history – It is eminently fitting that the town of Coldstream brings the curtain down on the Borders’ famous annual ridings season.
Tradition, community spirit and a collective celebration of Scottish Borders life are all integral to the Common Ridings, but one theme dominates all the others, the Battle of Flodden Field.
The sheer scale of the events that unfolded in the beautiful countryside a few miles outside Coldstream one September day in 1513, ensure that Flodden will never be forgotten.
Members of the locally run 1513 Club are pledged to do just that.
Estimates suggest the Scottish death toll, which included the Scots’ King, James lV, and the flower of his noble classes, exceeded 10,000. He was the last British monarch to be slain in battle.
Coldstream is famous for another piece of military history, having the distinction of being the only town in the UK to have a regiment named after it – the Coldstream Guards.
They don’t come any better than the Guards who have 117 battle honours to their name. No less than thirteen guardsmen have been awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous valour in action.
The regiment dates back to the 1650’s when General Monck raised a body of men who went on to play a crucial part in the restoration of Charles II.
Monck’s Regiment of Foot later became the Coldstream Guards and the regiment’s history can be found on display in the Coldstream Museum in the centre of town, the site of General Monck’s headquarters before he marched on London in 1660 to restore the Stuart Monarchy.
As well as local history, there is also a changing exhibition programme in the Courtyard Gallery promoting local artists and contemporary art exhibitions.
Wander off the High Street and you will find attractive walks and magnificent views across the River Tweed.