Scottish Battlefields Trust 2016 Wargaming event

Warwick Louth a trustee of the SBT explains the thinking behind a new wargaming event to be held at the famous location of Prestonpans near Edinburgh......

Churchill once said “Battles are the punctuation marks of history”. Naturally, as wargamers, our interest gravitates towards military history, with miniature battlefields accurately researched down to the smallest detail to attempt to replicate how a contemporary battle site would have looked. However, what if we were unable to replicate or understand historic landscapes due to continued urban sprawl and modern development?

Dundee's Troop

Certainly wargaming pioneers, the likes of Chandler, Featherstone and Young understood the huge worth exploring fields of battle had, all of them serving soldiers able to see the tactical worth and nature of battlefield. By being able to explore such a rich resource, we as the wargamer/historian/archaeologist/interested party are able to break away from the secondary sources and come to our own conclusions on the nature of the battlefield, visit parts not often covered in popular histories and possibly discover a feature or set of built remains that reinterpret your view of the battle landscape. Popular culture focuses all too easily upon the major battles of Bannockburn, Killiecrankie and Culloden without tapping the untold resources of often forgotten other battlefields.

Soldiers of Killiecrankie
Increasingly this has come under threat in Scotland through extending roadworks, spread of urban sprawl and new power systems to sites such as Bannockburn, Culloden, Killiecrankie and Prestonpans. While an Inventory of Historic Battlefields was created in the wake of similar irreparable damages at Newbury and Naseby, these provide no legal protection against further development, alteration or indeed metal detecting, not only damaging past, present and future perception of the battlefield, but also altering any ephemeral archaeological remains that might shed new light on the conflict. Equally The Battlefields Trust, although meant to be a national body, has little representation in Scotland.

Scots and English regiments

Initiated at the Biennial National Battlefields Symposium  2014, the Scottish Battlefields Trust acts as a sister body to the Battlefields Trust, extending the remit of this charity north of the border. Its’ aims are twofold; firstly the promotion of Scottish battlefields and their heritage, this being achieved by a series of educational programmes, battlefield walking trails, living history events, talks and associated research bringing to the forefront Scottish heritage. Secondly it is a body created to lobby against and provide a voice against the further change and ultimate protection of these fields of conflict-they are not just a blank field, but a site where histories heroes stood, fought and died, often acting as mass grave sites that should be respected and venerated, an issue currently being tackled on a number of sites mentioned above.

1689 Hugh Mackay's Regiment by Barry Hilton
Obviously the study of battlefields and historical wargaming are two hobbies and areas of research that go hand in hand. Therefore the Scottish Battlefields Trust would like to kindly invite you to its inaugural wargames show to be held at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, 227 High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian  EH32 9BE on Saturday February 20 2016 from 11am-4pm.

Dotted just a stone’s throw away from the initial Jacobite victory of the 1745 Rising, the theme for the event will be a small series of both participation and demonstration games acting as a timeline through Scotland’s military history, from the Romans to the Jacobite Rebellions. Painting competitions will be run on the day, with a number of select prizes. Supported by a select number of traders, reenactors and historical stands, it should prove an informative day for the whole family. Food and drink is available from the restaurant downstairs. Only half an hour away from Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, we hope this is an event that will grow and complement a gap in the Scottish gaming catalog
King James IV by Barry Hilton


£2 entry, under 15’s free

For further information regarding the event, the Scottish Battlefield’s Trust and its work, please follow the links below

All pictures copyright Barry Hilton 2015