THE historic village of Corbridge is famous for its Roman heritage.

Not too far from Hadrian’s Wall, the area is served by Corbridge Roman Town, preserved ruins of a Roman garrison and a museum of excavated artefacts operated by English Heritage.

But not many people know of the part the village played in the English Civil War of 1642 to 1651, which was unearthed by County Durham historian and author who has been fascinated by the civil war ever since he was 10 years old.

Mr Turnbull, the author of civil war novel, Allegiance of Blood, delved in to what he described as a skirmish during the conflict.

In January 1644, when King Charles I and his parliament were at war, the Royalists were fairly secure in the north. However, the balance of power was to change dramatically when 21,000 Scottish soldiers marched over the border in support of parliament and laid siege to Newcastle.

The River Tyne became a watery border, behind which the outnumbered Royalists attempted to hold back the tide.

The Scots arrived in Corbridge looking for a crossing over the Tyne, and, in response, Sir Marmaduke Langdale and a force of Royalists were sent to stop them from striking south across the bridge.

On February 19, 1644, Langdale and 25 troops of cavalry and between 300 and 400 musketeers met the Scots just outside of the village on Red House Laugh.

Langdale’s cavalry were repulsed by the Scottish lancers.

Commanded by Lord Balgonie and Lord Kirkcudbright, the Scots had fewer troops, yet made three successful charges to push the Royalists back each time and take 100 prisoners.

The relentless advance of the Scots was only arrested when Langdale’s musketeers joined the fray, but the Yorkshireman had one other surprise up his armoured sleeve.

A Royalist detachment of 10 troops under Col. Robert Brandling had been sent along the southern bank of the River Tyne, and now they crossed the bridge and entered Corbridge with the intention of attacking the rear of the Scots.

This best laid plan went amiss when, ironically, Langdale’s main force finally got the better of the Scots and sent them scattering back towards Corbridge - Brandling’s detachment, far from possessing the element of surprise as they had expected, were shocked to see the Scots hurtling towards them.

Brandling rode ahead of his men and challenged any one of his opponents to singular combat.

Lt. Elliott accepted, but after exchanging pistol fire and riding at one another, Brandling’s horse stumbled, and he was taken prisoner when Elliott unceremoniously pulled him off his steed. Following this demoralising moment, Brandling’s men were vanquished and some drive into the river where they drowned.

The victory left the Scots free to cross the river, and led to the King’s loss of the north after his armies were defeated just outside of York at the battle of Marston Moor in July.

Mr Turnbull said: Despite the many visits I’ve paid to Corbridge, I’ve never known about the part it played in the period of history which has fascinated me since the age of 10, the English Civil War.

“Nor is there anything mentioned on the tourist information board, and I had to struggle to found out more about the civil war skirmish that occurred here.

“It may be a small and forgotten part of Corbridge’s glittering history, but it deserves to be recognised. After personal research, and the help of Geoffrey Carter, chairman of the Battlefields Trust, North East and Borders, I have pieced together what occurred from some contemporary sources.”