“The Buildings that fought Hitler” (Yesterday)

Once you have reached beyond the bizarre title, which sounds rather like a Dr. Who episode, this is actually a very good series. Rob Bell, the engineer who is becoming quite ubiquitous, demonstrates how the UK was ready to use ther natural and built environments, together with science, to repel and then restrict a German… Continue reading “The Buildings that fought Hitler” (Yesterday)

Not just another Anne Boleyn series

This was shown on BBC2 during August and the subject has been covered several times in recent years, not least with our old friend Dr. Starkey. However, I am pleased I watched it for two reasons. The first is that The Boleyns: A scandalous family discussed the situation from the perspective of Thomas Boleyn seeking… Continue reading Not just another Anne Boleyn series

We sailed against the Spanish Armada flying the Union Jack….

  Oh, puLEEEZE! Not English ships flying the Union Jack when fighting the Spanish Armada! The offending source of this blooper? One of the Drain the Ocean series of TV documentaries (Series 2, episode 7, entitled Secrets of the Spanish Armada) . The picture above is from the episode, but I couldn’t find one of… Continue reading We sailed against the Spanish Armada flying the Union Jack….

London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)

The series began at London Bridge itself. From an engineering perspective, Bell explained that the wooden Claudian bridge was the first across the Thames , built on no fewer than twenty-nine artificial islands, making it very difficult to negotiate. It was replaced with a very similar stone unit by Henry II. The Haberdashers were very… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)

A 14th-century village in South Wales….

  The TV series In Search of Medieval Britain, presented by Dr Alixe Bovey, is being repeated at the moment. In it she follows the Gough Map, thought to be the oldest surviving detailed map of England and Wales. Last night I watched the episode concerning Wales, during which she mentioned Cosmeston Medieval Village.  Now,… Continue reading A 14th-century village in South Wales….

Walking “Tudor” England

Suzannah Lipscomb has just completed another series on Channel Five, this time visiting the sites related to the “Tudors”. In the first episode, she concentrated on Henry VIII and the naval power he inherited from John Howard, Duke of Norfolk. The second was principally about the penultimate “Tudor”, Mary I, as well as Edward VI… Continue reading Walking “Tudor” England

Royal History’s Biggest Fibs

Lucy Worsley, having covered the Wars of the Roses, the “Glorious Revolution” and Britain in India, has returned with a further series. This time, the episodes earlier this year having been about the Reformation, the Armada and Queen Anne, she covers the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, reversing the contemporaneous “spin” on the French Revolution, the… Continue reading Royal History’s Biggest Fibs

Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey

This programme, which has recently been repeated, began in 2017 with the duo meeting the legendary Borders historian Alistair Moffat, who just happens to be the uncle of a friend of theirs. Following DNA tests, it was revealed that McPartlin’s great-grandfather, Peter, had joined the 103rd (Tyneside Irish) Brigade and fought at the Battle of… Continue reading Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey

The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden

This excellent series began with a pilot last April, with Hugh Dennis and three archaeologists looking for a Roman settlement on the site of a former inn in Maidstone’s Florence Road. It resumed in February with the small team moving to Benwell, Newcastle, to locate a Hadrian’s Wall fort, followed by a Viking burial ground… Continue reading The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden

Secrets of the Royal Palaces (C5)

I am rather enjoying this series, with visits to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and others, historians such as Kate Williams, Janina Ramirez and Anna Whitelock and art specialists like Jacky Klein as well as Viscountess Hinchingbrooke and several eminent journalists. There is a lot of useful information about English and British monarchs from the… Continue reading Secrets of the Royal Palaces (C5)