Carham 1018: The Start of the Borders Story

Clive Hallam-Baker, Borders Historian

Tuesday, 9th October 2018
Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30 p.m.

In 1018, both England and Scotland were in the process of evolving into the nations we recognise today. Formal national borders did not exist, rather there were spheres of influence with allegiance owed to local earls or kings.

The battle of Carham was a defining moment in the process of fixing a border between the two nations, a border that has lasted almost unchanged for one thousand years.

The Battle of Carham of 1018 is an enigma. There is a scarcity of primary sources for these times, and of what was written, much is confused or contradictory, and there is hardly one undisputed fact about the battle itself. There is disagreement about the date, the location, and the consequences of the battle.

This talk will attempt to provide some answers, but will certainly pose more questions…

After a varied working life, first as an engineer developing Mini Cooper engines and manufacturing various bits for motor sport, Clive moved from industrial Lancashire to rural Northumberland where he bought a house in Branxton. His discovery that it was on Flodden Field awakened his interest in military history. He set up the Remembering Flodden charity, was very much involved in the 500th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Flodden, was invited to become a trustee of the Battlefields Trust and also of the newly formed Scottish Battlefields Trust.

During the last three years Clive has been trying to work out the puzzle of Carham!