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Britain's Most Historic Towns

  • 2019
  • Season 2
  • 6 episodes
  • History

Summary

Professor Alice Roberts is back on the road as she tells the story of key periods in British through the stories of individual historic towns.

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Episode 5: Plantagenet Canterbury

Summary

Alice Roberts visits Canterbury to explore the Plantagenet era, when the powerful house held the throne between 1154 and 1485. She discovers the secrets of the city's cathedral, a centre of ecclesiastical power and also the site of the shocking murder of Thomas Becket. She also discovers the lasting impact of the Black Death and joins a modern-day pilgrimage in medieval garb. Aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson provides a bird's-eye view of how the religious institutions of the era still dominate the city's topography.

Review

The small city of Canterbury hosts roughly seven million tourists a year, and that figure is boosted by one as Professor Alice Roberts arrives to look at its Plantagenet links. She presents another absorbing, potted history of a moment in time spanning 245 years and starting with Henry II and his friend, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Becket was installed by the king as a yes man, only he unexpectedly found god, and was murdered, with dreadful ferocity, by Henry’s thugs within the cathedral. Becket was beatified as Henry folded in horror and guilt. And of course it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Canterbury without touching on the Canterbury Tales and the development of the English language.

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

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterProfessor Alice Roberts

Crew

rolename
DirectorTheo Williams
Executive producerDominic Bowles
ProducerTheo Williams
Series producerLiam McArdle

All episodes

  • Episode 5

    Plantagenet Canterbury

    Summary

    Alice Roberts visits Canterbury to explore the Plantagenet era, when the powerful house held the throne between 1154 and 1485. She discovers the secrets of the city's cathedral, a centre of ecclesiastical power and also the site of the shocking murder of Thomas Becket. She also discovers the lasting impact of the Black Death and joins a modern-day pilgrimage in medieval garb. Aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson provides a bird's-eye view of how the religious institutions of the era still dominate the city's topography.

    Review

    The small city of Canterbury hosts roughly seven million tourists a year, and that figure is boosted by one as Professor Alice Roberts arrives to look at its Plantagenet links. She presents another absorbing, potted history of a moment in time spanning 245 years and starting with Henry II and his friend, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Becket was installed by the king as a yes man, only he unexpectedly found god, and was murdered, with dreadful ferocity, by Henry’s thugs within the cathedral. Becket was beatified as Henry folded in horror and guilt. And of course it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Canterbury without touching on the Canterbury Tales and the development of the English language.

    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

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterProfessor Alice Roberts

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorTheo Williams
    Executive producerDominic Bowles
    ProducerTheo Williams
    Series producerLiam McArdle
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