Digging Up Britain's Past

Industrial Revolution - Bridgewater

Series 2 - Episode 4 Industrial Revolution - Bridgewater



The Green at Worsley, near Manchester, is a charming spot: mock-Tudor houses overlook a nice patch of trees and lawn. But 250 years ago, things were very different. This was where the celebrated Bridgewater Canal began, and helped kickstart the Industrial Revolution. Alex Langlands (getting very soggy) and Raksha Dave are on hand to learn more about the early history of the canal and how life changed for the local population, as an archaeological dig uncovers the original works.

Over on Channel 4 at 8pm, Tori Herridge and her Bone Detectives colleagues are trying to make sense of a tangle of Anglo-Saxon bones found near Andover. There are over 100 bodies here. But why are they in such a mess?


Centuries ago, canals were the liquid highways of Britain, transporting raw materials and finished goods all over the country. Their arrival kick-started the Industrial Revolution, which was to turn Britain into a superpower. The very first water superhighway was the Bridgewater Canal, completed in 1761 to carry coal to Manchester from the mines in Worsley. Here, a team of archaeologists from Salford University roots out this industrial past, working with volunteers to excavate the very coal mine that inspired the creation of the canal.

Cast & Crew

Director Kemi Majekodunmi
Executive Producer Jeff Anderson
Producer Kemi Majekodunmi
Series Producer Nick Gillam-Smith
Documentary History