Battle weekend will be a sight to behold

Dunbar will come alive with the thundering of hooves and crack of muskets, as the Scottish Battlefields Trust returns to re-enact the 1650 Battle of Dunbar as part of East Lothian’s Battle Weekend.

Re-enactors from across the UK are expected put on an exhilarating display recreating a key part of the battle, amidst a series of informative family-friendly activities from 13-15 September.

The living history event is part of a tri-annual calendar of commemorative re-enactment weekends designed to entertain and educate people about this important period in Scotland’s history. The Battle of Dunbar Re-Enactment will also be the climax of 2019’s East Lothian Archaeology and Local History Fortnight.

Highlights over the weekend will include demonstrations of cavalry tactics, a chance to eaves-drop on the rival generals as they make their battle plans, and immersive military camps for you to explore. The re-enactors have also been tasked with presenting an accurate interpretation of how a military company operated in the seventeenth century, with pikes and muskets marching to the beat of drums. There will be interactive activities, stalls and crafts to keep the whole family busy throughout the day.

By 1650 there had been civil war in the British Isles for eleven long years, and the alliance between the English Parliamentarians and the Scottish Covenanters had broken down after the English executed King Charles I.

The Scots chose to support the old king’s son, prompting Oliver Cromwell to invade in retaliation. On 3 September 1650 he unexpectedly attacked the larger army of General David Leslie outside the small harbour town of Dunbar and destroyed it.

The Battle of Dunbar Re-Enactment Weekend will bring to life the dramatic events of Cromwell’s early morning assault which turned the tide of the campaign, and brought disaster upon the last great army of Covenanters.

These events will be witnessed by descendants of some of the Scottish soldiers who were taken prisoner at the battle and later transported to North America. They are travelling to Scotland to commemorate the role of their ancestors in these momentous events.

For more information on the Battle of Dunbar Re-enactment event and East Lothian Battle Weekend