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Britain's Most Historic Towns

  • 2019
  • Season 2
  • 6 episodes
  • Documentary and factual
  • History

Summary

Alice Roberts explores the Second World War history of Dover, as well as Georgian-era Bristol, Edwardian Cardiff, and Civil War period Oxford.

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Episode 2: Georgian Bristol

Summary

Alice Roberts explores the Georgian era in her home city of Bristol. She takes a horse-drawn carriage ride to explore Clifton's Georgian architecture, samples some of the backstreet gin that was considered a threat to civilisation, and discovers the ingenious story behind the world's first chocolate factory. She also delves into the city's links with the slave trade, uncovering horrific tales in the historical records. Plus, aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson provides a bird's-eye view of how 18th-century wealth transformed the city

Review

Alice Roberts visits her home city this week, and it’s a place she clearly loves. But she knows as well as anyone that Bristol has a problematic past.

She doesn’t shy away from that as she explores how the Georgian era saw a dramatic expansion of the British Empire – and the city. Much of that was based on the slave trade, for which Bristol was perfectly positioned, and in the programme’s key scene Roberts pores miserably over 18th-century ledgers and logs that spell out the horrors of a business that was, one historian reminds us, both legal and sanctioned by the church.

Elsewhere, she looks at some of the decadence that flowed from the city’s wealth, including the exploitation of chocolate and the gin craze. It wasn’t, a contributor suggests, the taste of the gin that mattered, merely the idea of “oblivion in a glass”.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

Details

Languages
Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
PresenterProfessor Alice Roberts
Executive producerDominic Bowles
Series producerLiam McArdle
ProducerEric Haynes
DirectorEric Haynes

All episodes

  • Episode 2

    Georgian Bristol

    Summary

    Alice Roberts explores the Georgian era in her home city of Bristol. She takes a horse-drawn carriage ride to explore Clifton's Georgian architecture, samples some of the backstreet gin that was considered a threat to civilisation, and discovers the ingenious story behind the world's first chocolate factory. She also delves into the city's links with the slave trade, uncovering horrific tales in the historical records. Plus, aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson provides a bird's-eye view of how 18th-century wealth transformed the city

    Review

    Alice Roberts visits her home city this week, and it’s a place she clearly loves. But she knows as well as anyone that Bristol has a problematic past.

    She doesn’t shy away from that as she explores how the Georgian era saw a dramatic expansion of the British Empire – and the city. Much of that was based on the slave trade, for which Bristol was perfectly positioned, and in the programme’s key scene Roberts pores miserably over 18th-century ledgers and logs that spell out the horrors of a business that was, one historian reminds us, both legal and sanctioned by the church.

    Elsewhere, she looks at some of the decadence that flowed from the city’s wealth, including the exploitation of chocolate and the gin craze. It wasn’t, a contributor suggests, the taste of the gin that mattered, merely the idea of “oblivion in a glass”.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Languages
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Crew

    rolename
    PresenterProfessor Alice Roberts
    Executive producerDominic Bowles
    Series producerLiam McArdle
    ProducerEric Haynes
    DirectorEric Haynes
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How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

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