Tribute to ‘Battle of Dunbar’ Scots who perished at Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral stonemason Nigel Mawson putting the finishing touches to a plaque that commemorates Scottish prisoners captured at the battle of Dunbar and held at the Cathedral in 1650.

Durham Cathedral stonemason Nigel Mawson putting the finishing touches to a plaque that commemorates Scottish prisoners captured at the battle of Dunbar and held at the Cathedral in 1650.

0
Have your say

A MEMORIAL plaque has been unveiled to commemorate the victims of a famous battle.

The plaque is now in place at Durham Cathedral in tribute to those who were captured in the Battle of Dunbar, when the English defeated the newly-recruited and unprepared Scottish Army.

The plate was dedicated during a special service at the cathedral.

It recognises those who were captured and marched south to North East England during the Civil War of 1650, with significant numbers then imprisoned in the cathedral.

During that time, the cathedral was empty and abandoned, its Dean and Chapter dissolved and its worship suppressed by order of Oliver Cromwell.

During the hard winter of 1650 to 1651, many incarcerated at Durham went on to die of malnutrition, disease and cold.

It is said that the prisoners burnt most of the cathedral’s wooden furnishings in order to keep themselves warm.

George Wilson, who has been active in raising awareness of the plight of the Scottish prisoners, and Roy Pugh, from the Dunbar Local History Society, attended the special dedication service.

The plaque is situated, appropriately, near the altar of Queen Margaret of Scotland.

The Very Rev Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham, said: “I am glad that we are at last honouring those who died in and around the cathedral during their imprisonment.

“The desecrated cathedral was, like them, a victim of the Civil War, so it is right that we should recall this bitter episode in Anglo-Scottish history.

“As we do this, we give thanks for the gift of reconciliation, and remember those who today continue to suffer cruelty at the hands of others.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham