Nechtansmere, battle of

views updated May 18 2018

Nechtansmere, battle of, 685. Fought at Dunnichen, near Forfar, it was an unmitigated disaster for Northumbria, which probably held the territory south of the Forth and had established overlordship of the Picts to the north. King Ecgfrith fiercely attacked the Picts against all advice, including that of Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, who had foreseen the king's early death. Lured into a narrow mountain pass, Ecgfrith and his army were slain. The defeat marked the beginning of decline in Northumbrian power. The Picts were freed from overlordship, and although Bede records that Ecgfrith's successor Aldfrith ‘restored the shattered fortunes of the kingdom’, it was ‘within smaller boundaries’.

Audrey MacDonald

Nechtansmere, Battle of

views updated May 18 2018

Nechtansmere, Battle of a battle which took place in 685 at Nechtansmere, near Forfar, Scotland, in which the Picts defeated the Northumbrians, stopping their expansion northward and forcing their withdrawal.

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Battle of Nechtansmere

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