Nechtansmere Battlefield. Angus

This haunting has been witnessed by a woman walking alone at night over the area of the battle.

This haunting has been witnessed by a woman walking alone at night over the area of the battle.

She saw several soldiers in old dress, carrying lit torches, checking the corpses which lay strewn about their feet. The Battle of Nechtansmere that was fought in 685 AD. 21st May 685 – the Battle of Dunnichen (also known as Battle of Nechtansmere) was fought between the Picts and Northumbrians in Angus, in what is now Scotland. The Northumbrians were a Germanic people whose kingdom was in what is now Northern England and part of Southern Scotland and the Picts were Celtic.

The Pict commander was Bridei III and the Northumbrian commander was Ecgfrith. The Battle was a victory for the Picts and afterwards Northumbria’s existence was virtually wiped out in the area that later became Southern Scotland and occupied just what is now Northern England. Northumbria (or Northumberland) is now the most northerly county in England after King Alfred (known to the English as “The Father of England”) unified all the Germanic kingdoms together to form what is now England.

The Battle of Dunnichen (Welsh: Linn garan) or Battle of Nechtansmere was fought between the Picts and Northumbrians on May 21st 685, near Forfar, Angus. It ended in a decisive Pictish victory and severely weakened Northumbria’s power in northern Britain.

The Northumbrians had been gradually extending their territory to the north, their constituent kingdom of Bernicia having captured Edinburgh from the Gododdin around 638. For the next thirty years they established political dominance over the Kingdoms of Strathclyde (which was in the area that is now South West Scotland and North West England) and Dál Riata, as well as Pictish Fortriu.

King Ecgfrith of Northumbria invaded lands held by the Picts in 685, apparently to stop them from raiding to the south. They met in battle on May 21 near Dunnichen; the Picts pretended to retreat, drawing the Northumbrians into the swamp of Dunnichen. The Pictish King Bridei III killed Ecgfrith and destroyed his army and enslaved many of the survivors. After the battle, Northumbria’s influence never again extended past the Firth of Forth.

Little is known about the actual battle; it was briefly described by the Venerable Bede in the 8th century.

Loves a good ghost story, especially whilst sat in front of an open log fire on a cold and dark winters night.

3 Comments on "Nechtansmere Battlefield. Angus"

  1. Lynev says:

    It’s great to hear another account, twenty years earlier than the 1950 sighting. More than likely many have seen it, but feared or fear ridicule. It is a theory that weather conditions have an effect upon the residual energy left behind from dramatic events. It does give credence to the original account to hear from others that have known people that have had similar experiences. I think people are only recently unafraid to own up to seeing this sort of thing, as we have become more broadly educated and realize that there are many things about this world that science cannot yet explain. There are theories that these apparitions may also have something to do with time anomalies, which are very interesting to say the least.

  2. jackknight says:

    Hi, an old friend of mine called George Braithwaite, told me this story, very true from a good man now gone. He told me that the Scots were having very small battles with the enemy from England at the time, and were chased right up to this spot, which I have been to many times, George said that his cousin was going home on her bike at the time about 1930s.

    It was getting dark as it was summer and about 9 at night, until she came to the bog that’s where the battle was. As she was riding along, she witnessed the scene of the battle and witnessed men wearing leather on there backs, and saw them fighting.

    The Scots were pushing the enemy into the bog or mud, horses were stuck and dying and very gruesome battle was being fought. She said it was all over for her in maybe a few seconds, but was very shocked to see this.

    When she got home she informed the rest of the family.

    I sincerely believed George Braithwaite, as I knew him all my life since a wee boy a true Scotsman he was, so this story is true. The Celtic stone is not far from this spot it was erected by the Picts.

    Kind Regards Jack Knight

  3. Peter Spencer says:

    It’s interesting that the re-enactment of the battle took place on the 2nd January 1950, although the actual battle took place on 20th-21st May 685. You would think that if the battle was going to be re-fought by its ghosts, they would do it on the same day. Perhaps the conditions of the very early morning of that day in 1950 were exactly the same as the day of the battle in 685, who knows?

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