Sacred Wonders of Britain

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Sacred Wonders of Britain

Series 1 - Episode 1



The need to make sense of the world by telling stories was as compelling for our ancestors as it is for us. It led to the creation of many sacred places, and Neil Oliver visits some of the earliest in Britain in the first of three episodes. Of course, the Neolithic period means stone, and lots of it, so this is not an hour short on grey shapes looming out of ancient landscapes.

But some of the sites, and the stories attached, really do inspire wonder. Grime’s Graves, in Norfolk, is pocked with depressions from prehistoric flint mining. Flint was easily available on the Earth’s surface, but there was something about the difficulty of bringing it up from deep underground that made it special. The claustrophobia of Neil and his guide squeezing through the tunnels is repaid when they come across tools that haven’t been to the surface in 5,000 years.


Neil Oliver investigates the hallowed sites of ancient Britain, looking at how people expressed their religious beliefs by reshaping the landscape around them. He begins by examining the very first stirrings of religion, visiting Nottinghamshire to view clues to a world of magic and ritual etched into the rock of Creswell Crags by Ice Age hunters, while tombs In the south of England and in the Scottish Borders are evidence of ancestor worship among the farmers of the Neolithic age.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Neil Oliver
Director Martin Kemp
Executive Producer Mike Smith
Series Producer Martin Kemp