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Secrets of Britain

  • Season 1
  • 6 episodes
  • Education

Summary

Six-part documentary series visiting famous British buildings and institutions to explore their past and present, meeting a range of experts and historians to tell each story.

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Episode 1: Secrets of the Tower of London

Summary

An exploration of British landmarks, beginning with a look at the Tower of London - which has served as a castle, a jail and a place of execution.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The history of the Tower of London, neatly packaged for American viewers – its grounds take up the same amount of space as the White House, apparently…

But behind the “heritage England” waffle, there are some interesting stories here, like the bones of the animals – generally unwanted gifts – uncovered in the moat, including the now extinct Barbary lion; or the onion-shaped domes on the White Tower added by Henry VIII to celebrate his marriage to Anne Boleyn, who returned three years later in less happy circumstances.

Away from the tourist hordes, we do get access to the domestic quarters of the Yeoman Warders – they’re surprisingly workaday, although there’s a spectacular view from the bedroom of the chief warder (apart from the iron bars, that is).

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