ONE of the largest battles ever fought on Scottish soil is re-enacted in East Lothian this weekend.

The re-enactment of the Battle of Pinkie, which was fought at Musselburgh in 1547, is presented by the Scottish Battlefields Trust as part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, with visitors invited to step back in time for two days of activities at Newhailes Estate.

They will be able to witness a dramatic re-enactment of the battle, complete with a thunderous cavalry charge, walk through historical encampments, meet the characters behind the events, try their hand at Tudor archery and take part in a variety of family-friendly activities.

The infant Mary Queen of Scots will even make an appearance and visitors will also be able to browse information and craft stalls before exploring the living history camps, where troops from both sides and of all ranks will reveal what life was like in this turbulent period of history. Experts will even be on hand to reveal details of the fashions of the period.

The Battle of Pinkie took place on September 10, 1547, when the armies of Scotland and England fought to determine who should marry the infant Mary Queen of Scots.

The larger Scottish army attacked across the River Esk into the teeth of ferocious cavalry charges and a hail of arrows, cannon and gunshot. The outcome was a calamitous defeat for the Scots, with some reporting up to 10,000 dead.

But far from securing union with England, the effect of the battle was to push Scotland closer to France, where Mary was subsequently betrothed to the Dauphin, the heir to the throne.

The battle is significant in military history because of the pioneering combination of horse, foot and artillery with supporting fire from naval vessels, which makes Pinkie one of the first modern battles to be fought in Britain.

Tickets to the event on Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm both days, are £6 for adults and £3 for children and can be purchased online or on the day.

For more information, tickets to the re-enactment and full programme, visit