Tyne & Wear

Durham University unveils plaque to Scottish Battle of Dunbar prisoners

People with the plaque Image copyright Jeff Veitch/Durham University
Image caption A plaque has been unveiled at Durham University's Palace Green Library

A new plaque has been unveiled to commemorate 17th Century Scottish soldiers who died in Durham after being captured in battle.

Remains of the soldiers, who were imprisoned in Durham Cathedral after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar, were discovered in a mass grave in 2013.

A minute's silence and a lecture about the soldiers were also held on Friday.

The battle took place during the Civil War when English Parliamentarian forces defeated the Scottish army.

Image copyright NNP
Image caption The remains of between 17 and 29 soldiers were discovered in 2013

An estimated 5,000 Scottish soldiers were taken prisoner and marched miles from the south east of Scotland to Durham.

Many died en route, some were executed and some escaped but about 3,000 were imprisoned in the cathedral.

During the hard winter of 1650-51, it is thought up to 1,700 of those incarcerated there died of malnutrition, disease and cold.

Image copyright Jeff Veitch/Durham University
Image caption The plaque is mounted on stone quarried from the site of the battle of Dunbar

The remains of between 17 and 29 soldiers were discovered during work on Durham University's Palace Green Library near the cathedral.

They will be reburied in Durham once research has been completed.

Professor Stuart Corbridge, vice-chancellor of Durham University, said: "The plaque will serve as a permanent memorial to the soldiers' presence here on Palace Green."

Image copyright NNP
Image caption The remains were found during work on the library

The plaque is mounted on stone quarried from the site of the Battle of Dunbar and has been placed in the library's cafe courtyard.

Another plaque within Durham Cathedral, installed in 2011 in memory of the Scottish soldiers, has also been updated to remove the reference to the soldiers' place of burial being unknown.

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