Elsdon Fete is organised by volunteers from the community.

There is lots of cycling memorabilia to take in while enjoying your refreshments.

Both families are of ancient lineage, the Percys supposedly descended from a Viking warrior who settled in Normandy, acquiring the name De Percy from the name of a French village. The Douglases were descended from Flemish immigrants who came to Scotland in the reign of David I.

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It has an ancient parish church, a tower house and even the remains of a castle.

Winter's body was returned to the Elsdon area following his execution in accordance with an old custom that murderer's corpses should be displayed near the scene of their crime.

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Containing habitats and species of international importance, including blanket bogs and heather heaths. View

The village, though pleasant and peaceful today saw its share of rough border, life in days gone by and was evidently not a great place for hospitality, as an old Northumbrian ballad records;

Although Otterburn is now regarded as the `capital' of Redesdale, in more historic times Elsdon held that distinction, when it was an important gathering place and market town for the clans of the valley who included the Storeys, Hedleys, Dunnes, Potts, Millburns and Halls.

Although his men were tired and there was only the light of the moon to help them see, Percy was determined to attack the Scots there and then, so giving his men the element of surprise (we can see why Shakespeare gave him the nickname `Hotspur'). It was decided that the attack would be two pronged, with a body of men under the leadership of Thomas Umfraville, Lord of Redesdale attacking the Scots from the rear, while Percy continued the advance from the south.

Elsdon used to be on the main road leading from Newcastle to Redesdale and beyond.

Crossing the Tyne near Newcastle, the Scots continued northwards burning the castle of Ponteland on their way, as they headed for Redesdale. Here they took up camp on the site of an ancient British hill-fort near Otterburn. According to the ballad there was little in the way of provision for Douglas at Otterburn ;

Elsdon Castle was a castle in the village and is a scheduled monument. It is probably the best preserved medieval motte and bailey castle site in Northumberland and was built by Robert de Umfraville, not long after the Norman Conquest. Impressive earthworks remain.

In 1402 at the Battle of Humbleton Hill, near Wooler the Hotspur was at war with the Douglas family once again but in the following year when he was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury, he was ironically fighting on the same side as the Douglas family in rebellion against the king.

Among the Scottish contingent were members of the Crozier family and among the English, the Fenwicks of Wallington, arch-enemies of the Croziers. This obviously gave added venom to the battle. At the end of the fray the English, who were largely unarmed, came off worst and among those killed was George Heron of Chipchase, the Keeper of Tynedale and Redesdale.

For a time the morbid site of Winter's body, drew sightseers from all around, until the stench from the corpse became so bad that people began to avoid using the road that passed that way.

It’s a great starting point for many walks into the surrounding countryside.

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For a time the Scots seemed to be easily winning the battle, perhaps helped by the absence of Thomas Umfraville's contingent, which had got lost in the moors to the north. Eventually Umfraville decided to give up the plan of attacking the Scots from the rear and retraced his steps to rejoin the main English forces under Hotspur.

The old woman ran a small drapery store in the neighbourhood, which led Winter to believe she was wealthy. He murdered her after breaking into her home to find that she had little worth stealing. He seems to have been a rather desperate character, as he had not long returned from transportation. His family did have a history of crime, as both his father and brother also died by execution.

Despite the loss of their leader, the outcome of the Battle of Otterburn was a decisive victory for the Scots, who lost only two hundred men compared to English losses of over a thousand. The body of Douglas was taken back to Scotland and he was burried with honour at the abbey of Melrose in Tweeddale. Hotspur and his brother Ralph, were later released for a ransom.

The valley of Redesdale has for many centuries provided an important through-route into Scotland and today it is followed by the A68 Jedburgh road into Scotland, which crosses the border six miles to the north west at Carter Bar in upper Redesdale.

Elsdon is a village and civil parish in the English county of Northumberland about 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest of Rothbury. The name is derived from the Old English meaning Elli's valley.

The fete runs from 12 noon to 4pm but the beer tent will continue well into the evening. There will be a range of refreshments available during the day. Full details of the programme of events and details of all the stalls and activities can be found here.


Another notable feature of Elsdon are the two curious hills at the northern end of the village which mark the site of an old Motte and Bailey castle. Tomlinson's Guide to Northumberland (1888) suggested that the earthworks were some kind of Celtic tribal capital at the time of the Roman occupation. There are certainly a number of ancient British camps and settlements in the vicinity of Elsdon.

Car: From the A1, take the A696 to Elsdon.

The Scottish raid led by Douglas is commemorated in a lengthy Border Ballad recorded by Sir Walter Scott;

This tea room has become an essential pitstop since Marion and Allan Graham opened in 1978.

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Welcome to the new home of Elsdon Fete, this website will keep you up to date with all the news and events happening at this year's fete.

In one particularly savage raid in 1584 14 men were murdered, 400 prisoners were held for ransom and 400 cows and oxen and another 400 horses were taken.

Close to the fortified vicarage is Elsdon's church which claims to have been a resting place for St. Cuthbert's body and is one of the many dedicated to his memory. Of much historical interest, it is also larger than many Northumbrian churches. In the nineteenth century when alterations were taking place, a large number of skeletons were discovered which appeared to have been buried in a communal grave, an indication that the bodies had been buried at Elsdon after the Battle of Otterburn.[2]

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The village Pele tower is one of the best examples left in Northumberland. It dates from 1900 with walls nine feet thick.

Small hamlet with a rich history of Roman occupation and ruins of the fort Bremenium. View

With chants of A Percy !, A Percy ! , Hotspur's contingent made their onslaught on the Scottish camp, but their shock and horror can be imagined when they discovered that in the confusion of darkness, they were not raiding the main camp, but instead a small encampment of Scottish servants and camp followers, who nevertheless still fought back.

The village was often raided during the time of the Border Reivers.

The houses which gather round the teardrop-shaped village green make it the largest settlement within the boundaries of the National Park.

Beer tent - serving a selection of drinks and real ales from Allendale Brewery, Northumberland