On September 10, 1547, along the banks of the River Esk, a massive battle occurred that pitted Scottish and English forces in what has been called the first modern conflict recorded on the British Isles.
The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, part of a war between Scotland and England known as the “Rough Wooing”, is considered one of the largest battles ever fought on Scottish soil. It’s also viewed as one of the defining battles of the medieval English-Scottish conflict. The Scottish suffered a heavy defeat, in a day now forever known as “Black Saturday”. However, they eventually won the war (due in part to the intervention of the French, honoring the “Auld Alliance” between the two nations).
In total, more than 15,000 people were killed in the battle. Pinkie Cleugh is known not only for its scope and English victory, but also for the simultaneous presence of firearms and traditional weaponry such as bows and swords.
Constructed in 1998, this memorial stone overlooks modern farmland that is believed to be where the battle took place. The monument is one of the stops along Musselburgh’s Battlefield Walk historical trail.
Know Before You Go
Every September 10th on the anniversary of the battle, a commemorative ceremony takes place here.