As I happened to be up near Durham for a couple of days, I took the opportunity to visit the actual battlefield. There is a useful walk guide published and this can be found at the Durham tourist site here:
Although much of the battlefield is now built up, you can still get a real feeling for how steeply the moor fell away and gave good flank protection to both armies. The steep slopes are now heavily wooded, which they probably wouldn’t have been in 1346. It would have been much more of an exposed moorland habitat.
Here are a few pictures.
This is looking up to the moor from the eastern flank from Flass Vale.
This is the valley below Arbour Farm that gave the right wing of the Scottish army so much grief as they dropped down into it and were destroyed by rhe English bows above them. The view is from the Scottish perspective – the English longbows would have been lining the top of the slope.
This is looking towards the Scottish right division, showing the valley they descended into the arrow storm.
This picture gives you an idea of the steep slopes covering the English West (left) flank – looking up from the River Browney.
Having said all the above, I did have an interesting conversation with a guy in the Durham Heritage Centre. He told me that there is a theory that the battle was fought a bit further to the northwest – an area proposed for a new bypass!
Anyway, nearly time to build the terrain and get the toy soldiers on the table!