English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites, and brings the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.
Episode 94 - The life and work of St Aelred of Rievaulx
We’re joined in the studio by senior properties historian Dr Michael Carter and interpretation assistant Nick Collinson to discover the story of the most important churchman in 12th century England. At the time of his death in 1167, Aelred of Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire was immediately regarded as a saint. During his life, he accomplished many things, serving as a royal steward, an emissary to the Pope and abbot of Rievaulx, as well as demonstrating his talent as an author, preacher and spiritual mentor to his monks. And today, as we will discover, he is also starting to be considered a medieval gay icon.
To learn more about Rievaulx Abbey, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/rievaulx
Episode 93 - Superstition, magic and the Evil Eye in the Roman world
This week, we’re joined by curator of collections Cameron Moffett and curator of collections (Hadrian’s Wall & the North East) Frances McIntosh to discover what we know about the Romans’ beliefs in magic, superstitions and the ‘Evil Eye’. And we’ll look at the evidence for these at English Heritage sites, including the discovery of some rather surprising objects thought to protect the holder against bad luck.
To read more about Hadrian’s Wall, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/hadrianswall
To discover more about Wroxeter Roman City, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/wroxeter
Episode 92 - Time to change: The history of our calendar
As many of us prepare to hang up a new calendar for the year ahead, we’re joined by Professor Robert Poole to reveal the surprising history of our calendar. Discover how Britain switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century, why the change was necessary to catch up with most of Europe, and the truth behind the 'calendar riots' of 1752. We’ll also discuss the problem with Easter and how the changes continue to affect us today.
To read more about Lord Chesterfield, who introduced the legislation to switch to the Gregorian calendar while living at Ranger’s House in London, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/rangers-house-the-wernher-collection/history-and-stories/lord-chesterfield
Episode 91 - The pagan winter customs that shaped Christmas
This week we’re joined by English Heritage trustee Professor Ronald Hutton to discuss the pagan winter customs behind the Christmas traditions we take for granted today. Discover the ancient origins of winter feasting, Christmas carols, present giving, kissing under the mistletoe and more!
To read about the history of Christmas, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/christmas/the-history-of-christmas
Episode 90 - Festive feasts through the ages
It’s traditional to eat a lot at Christmas, but did you know that winter has been a time of feasting for far longer? This week we’re joined by properties historians team leader, Dr Andrew Hann, and properties historian, Dr William Wyeth to discuss delectable dinners and diners through the ages, from prehistory to the near present. We’ll look at what was eaten, where and when, including at Stonehenge, medieval castles, a deserted village and grand residences such as Belsay Hall in Northumberland and Audley End House in Essex.
To find out more about medieval Christmas food, go to https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/christmas/medieval-christmas-food
To read about the history of the Christmas pudding, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/inspire-me/blog/blog-posts/2016/a-history-of-the-christmas-pudding
Episode 89 - Thomas Becket’s murder and Dover Castle’s Great Tower
On the 850th anniversary of an event that shook medieval Europe, we’re joined by senior properties historian Steven Brindle to look back at the murder of Thomas Becket, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury, and how it happened. We’ll also discuss how King Henry II, whose knights carried out this crime in 1170, tried to salvage his tattered reputation. And we’ll investigate how the building of Dover Castle’s Great Tower for the king can be traced back to Becket’s assassination.
To find out more or plan your visit to Dover Castle, go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/dover
Customer ReviewsSee All
Can Prof Ronald Hutton please be my mate
Deserves more reviews and listeners, well made, great tone, lots of info, from the top people in their field. Totally worth making the time for. No sensationalism, just thinking and explaining about the historic buildings and culture.
Interesting & varied
Not too long but long enough to learn some interesting facts almost every episode. Locations are well described coupled with strange & interesting character stories make for an entertaining half hour. Hope one day you do Ettington House. The location of the Haunting of Hill House 1963. Amazing place & reputedly haunted.