In 1945 (as Neil correctly pointed out last night in a Comment) many of the British and Allied forces were busy fighting the Germans on the Continent. Two hundred years before that, as I wrote in my previous post, part of the English army was busy in Flanders fighting the French whilst the rest were being beaten by the Jacobites at Prestonpans. Almost (but not quite) two hundred years before that, in 1547, some of them were at it again, at the Battle of Pinkie. This time, the English inflicted a major defeat on the Scots.
The battle sites of Prestonpans and Pinkie are not far away from each other. In fact, in my living room I have a map showing how the forces were lined up against each other at both battles.
So enjoyable was yesterday’s bike ride to Prestonpans, that I cycled over some of the same route today, but this time concentrated on sites associated with the Pinkie battle. The weather wasn’t so nice, but it was a good run. I started with a steak pie for breakfast at the Breadline Bakery.
The Pinkie Cleugh Battlefield Group have written an excellent guide to a walk of the battle sites.
I wanted to see Somerset’s Mound, also known as Oliver’s Mount, at Inveresk Church. It was a defensive position, used during the battle. The area around the church is ancient. It was used by the Votadini, and the Romans had a fort there.
They’re building a lot of new houses between Wallyford and Pinkie village. Soon, the two will be joined up. In the summer of 1958 I used to help Wullie the milkman deliver milk round Pinkie village. He had a horse and cart, and I’d run up the stairs in the closes and collect the empties and plastic Co-op money. Sometimes, he gave me a wee bottle of orange juice for helping him. A couple of times he gave me a thruppenny bit. Once, he pulled out a hair from the horse’s tail, and gave it to me.