Secrets of the Castle with Ruth, Peter and Tom

Secrets of the Castle with Ruth, Peter and Tom

Series 1 - Episode 3



Interior design isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about a medieval castle, probably because the majority of them are now ruins so very little original plaster work or decoration survives. Ruth, Peter and Tom discover at Guédelon Castle in Burgundy that almost all the walls would have been rendered and lime-washed to make them cleaner and lighter, while naturally coloured pigments were used to decorate rooms lavishly.

There’s a lovely moment when two French paint experts giggle at Peter and Tom’s clumsy brushwork, while Ruth and Peter’s serious, lengthy and detailed discussion about medieval toilets may make you snigger, too.


This edition focuses on the surprisingly colourful world of medieval interior design, with Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold rendering and lime-washing the inside walls of a guard tower, transforming its dark stone walls into a bright space. Ruth Goodman makes paint and decorates the castle bedchamber using designs based on those recently discovered at an 11th-century church nearby, and Peter gets to grips with the indoor toilets known as garderobes.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Ruth Goodman
Presenter Peter Ginn
Presenter Tom Pinfold
Director Lindsay Hill
Executive Producer David Upshal
Producer Lindsay Hill
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Education History