Battle of Raith
Date596 CE
LocationCoordinates: 56°07′02″N 3°11′36″W / 56.117233°N 3.193417°W / 56.117233; -3.193417
Result Angle victory
Commanders and leaders
King Aedan Unknown
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Raith was the theory of E. W. B. Nicholson, librarian at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He was aware of the poem Y Gododdin in the Book of Aneirin and was aware that no-one had identified the location "Catraeth". He parsed the name as "cat" Gaelic for battle or fight, and "Raeth" and he recalled that there was a place in Scotland called Raith.[1][2]

Nicholson's claim was that this battle was fought in 596 AD to the west of present-day Kirkcaldy. An invading force of Angles landed on the Fife coast[3] near Raith and defeated an alliance of Scots, Britons and Picts under King Áedán mac Gabráin of Dál Riata.

This was an attempt at identifying the location of the Battle of Catraeth. Today this is usually recognised instead as Catterick.

Nicholson's proposition was given added circulation when it was included in the local history book "Kirkcaldy Burgh and Schyre" [4] by its editor and co-author Lachlan Macbean.[5][6]


  1. ^ The Celtic Review, Vol. 6 No. 23 (January 1910) pp214-236
  2. ^ "The Celtic review". Edinburgh : Macleod – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "596 A.D. - The Battle of Raith | made by young people at Makewaves". 21 May 2009. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Kirkcaldy Burgh and Schyre" (1924) pp42/3 published by the Fifeshire Advertiser (Macbean was also the paper's editor).
  5. ^ "Lachlan Macbean". The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology. Canterbury Press.
  6. ^ "excerpt from Kirkcaldy Burgh and Schyre". Retrieved 8 September 2012.