My Favourite History Place: Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station

Historian feature

By Robert Turnbull, published 3rd February 2023

Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station

Glimpsed from the window of a speeding train, as it hurtles north across the Royal Border Bridge and towards Edinburgh, the modest station at Berwick-upon-Tweed would seem an unlikely spot for one of the most momentous episodes in British history; but step off the train, walk up the stairs, and allow yourself a moment to read the information display in front of you. It is only then that its significance becomes apparent.

Because it was here on this very spot, the Great Hall of Berwick Castle, and now the present-day railway station, that on 17 November 1292, before the assembled nobility of England and Scotland, King Edward I (‘Longshanks’) finally declared in favour of John Balliol for the vacant kingdom of Scotland, after a lengthy legal process which had taken several years. That process had witnessed the involvement of numerous claimants or ‘competitors’, including Robert Bruce the Competitor, grandfather of the Bruce who would triumph at Bannockburn...

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