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Society & Culture
Personal Journals
History

Making History

Updated about 1 month ago

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
History
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Popular history series where the past connects with the present.

Read more

Popular history series where the past connects with the present.

iTunes Ratings

35 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
4
4
4
1

Foolish marketing; good content

By OFCV - Jan 03 2017
Read more
Enjoyable content but terrible self-promotion; each podcast summary says same boring aspects of host, etc with ZERO program differentiation. Need to check how appear on a list bc zero intrigue w redundant references to host and guests...most of search or attracted to subject matter covered.

iTunes Ratings

35 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
4
4
4
1

Foolish marketing; good content

By OFCV - Jan 03 2017
Read more
Enjoyable content but terrible self-promotion; each podcast summary says same boring aspects of host, etc with ZERO program differentiation. Need to check how appear on a list bc zero intrigue w redundant references to host and guests...most of search or attracted to subject matter covered.
Cover image of Making History

Making History

Latest release on Mar 09, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: Hadrian's Wall

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Tom Holland travels north to mark the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian becoming Emperor, by examining the impact of his biggest legacy in Britain - Hadrian's Wall.

We also take-off for Heathrow to learn about its Iron Age origins and ask if a mound near a car park in Slough could really be a Saxon burial site.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jul 18 2017

28mins

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Rank #2: The Stonehenge Tunnel

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Tom Holland goes behind the headlines to look at the stories making history.

Helen Castor travels to Salisbury Plain to hear more about a growing row between archaeologists and our leading heritage organisations about plans to build a tunnel under Stonehenge. She discovers how, increasingly, it isn't iconic Stonehenge that is at the centre of researchers' thinking but the wider and even more historic landscape.

In Lincolnshire, Carenza Lewis and a team from the University of Lincoln are using archaeology for what some might describe as more pressing questions - how we can tackle the housing crisis and provide green space and places to play. A community project in Gainsborough has been evaluating the success of the 20th Century Garden City Movement by analysing artefacts from a post-war housing estate, to see if people actually exploited the space provided by urban planners.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative is a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project that looks set to transform large swaths of Asia and the world beyond. But, as Tom Holland discovers from Silk Road historian Peter Frankopan, British explorers were eying up the economic possibilities of the isolated frontier near Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan more than 150 years ago.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jun 20 2017

27mins

Play

Rank #3: The Charter of the Forest

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Tom Holland with the last in the series, exploring new historical research and resonances.

We travel to Durham to examine the world's oldest piece of environmental legislation, the Charter of the Forest which was made law 800 years ago in 1217.

Tom reveals how travellers from Heathrow may well be taking off from one of the most important Iron Age sites in the UK.

We also hear memories of family holidays from a unique collection in Leicester and reveal how key figures in Russia's October revolution of 1917 met in the East End of London 10 years earlier.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Aug 01 2017

27mins

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Rank #4: Battle Lines

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In the last of this series Tom Holland and Iszi Lawrence look at the stories around another line in history - battle lines. From the fable of the Nazi invasion across one of Britain's oldest battle lines on Suffolk's beaches, through Thucydides and on to cross-dressing soldiers across the ages.

Presenters: Iszi Lawrence and Tom Holland
Producer: Alison Vernon-Smith
Series Editor: Simon Elmes
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4

Feb 19 2019

28mins

Play

Rank #5: Church Pews and the Medieval Weather Forecast

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Tom Holland presents the history programme which connects the past with today.

Enthusiasts for Victorian church architecture are furious that the pews designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in Bath Abbey have been dismantled and removed and are to be sold. Supporters of the plan say that it will create a huge space which the Abbey can then use for community events. Of course, back in medieval times most churches had no furniture, so why was it introduced and what can it tell us about the people that installed and sat on it? Iszi Lawrence visits Somerset to find out more.

It's the season of village fetes, country fairs, music festivals, cricket and world-class tennis and everyone is more than usually interested in the weather forecast. We think of this as a very modern service and are amazed even at the accuracy of meterologists during the planning of D-Day in 1944. But weather forecasts have been made for centuries and those making them knew more about the science behind them than we may think. Helen Castor visits Merton College Library in Oxford, which in the fourteenth century was the Met Office of its day.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jul 10 2018

27mins

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Rank #6: Rage Against The Machine

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Helen Castor and her guests take us back to moments in the past when social and economic change conspired to produce the historical forerunners of two of today's most pressing issues - technological change and housing.

Tom Holland visits a fruit-packing factory in Kent where, today, much of the work is done by robots. Their introduction hasn't threatened any jobs yet but, half an hour away, are the villages where, in 1830, rural farmworkers raged against new threshing machines they feared would take away much-needed work in the winter months. Professor Carl Griffin from the University of Sussex explains how the mythical Captain Swing shook the government of the day and terrified landowners in a series of machine-wrecking riots that swept South East England, Wiltshire and East Anglia.

Britain's housing issues have kick-started a boom in a type of home that came to the rescue in the dark days after World War Two, when prefabs offered accommodation for those who were bombed or living in slums. Thanks to a certain Swedish company, we all know about flat-packed furniture but, back in the late 1940s, it was Swedish flat-packed houses that were causing a stir. Architectural writer Jonathan Glancey gives us the low-down on a house that changed lives and is, in some places, still standing.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jan 23 2018

27mins

Play

Rank #7: Witches, poison and why the hedgehog was unloved in history

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Helen Castor is joined in the studio by the historian of witchcraft, Professor Owen Davies.

Historian Tom Charlton travels to Manningtree in North Essex - the scene, in the 17th century, of a series of witch-trials instigated by the so-called Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins has gained notoriety for these and other brutal acts against women but he is the one who is always remembered - not the victims. Now a local woman, Grace Carter, wants a #MeToo moment so that the women are not forgotten. Professor Alison Rowlands, who studies witchcraft across Europe, joins Tom to help Grace sort out fact from fiction as she plans a monument to this painful past.

The poison attack on the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury caused consternation around the world. Skripal and his daughter were in hospital for weeks and were lucky not to have been killed by the nerve agent used against them. Poisoning seems a very underhand act today but, back in the Middle Ages when knowledge of the natural world was more instinctive, it was commonplace. Indeed, as Iszi Lawrence found out, natural poisons were at the root of medieval medicine.

Our modern world, with its fast roads and industrial farmland, is no place for hedgehogs and their numbers are in serious decline. Perhaps it's the threat to their numbers or the affectionate portrayal of Mrs Tiggy Winkle by Beatrix Potter, but we seem to be very fond of this prickly mammal. Four hundred years ago, things were very different. Hedgehog numbers were healthy but people thought they were witches and hunted them. To find out why, Tom Holland has been spending the night spotting hedgehogs in an Oxfordshire garden with natural history writer Hugh Warwick.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jun 19 2018

27mins

Play

Rank #8: 20/09/2016

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Helen Castor is joined by Professor Mark Bailey from the University of East Anglia and Dr Eloise Moss from the University of Manchester to discuss the Black Death and Victorian tabloids.

Tom Holland is in Lincolnshire where Professor Carenza Lewis explains why pottery is telling us so much more about the Black Death. Her new research, working with volunteers across East Anglia, shows the pan-European epidemic of the mid-fourteenth century had an 'eye-watering impact' with communities losing up to 70% of their population.

Dr Bob Nicholson and former newspaper editor Roy Greenslade leaf through the pages of one of the most scurrilous tabloid publications ever, the tamely titled Illustrated Police News.

And we invite listeners to suggest characters from the past for the Making History plinth.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Oct 03 2016

27mins

Play

Rank #9: Jack Monroe and Rationing in the First World War

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Helen Castor is joined by Dr Sam Willis to discuss food shortages in the First World War, Silk Roads, the history of the duffle coat and Franklin's infamous last voyage.

Food blogger Jack Monroe heads for the National Archives to learn how the submarine war in 1917 presented a serious threat to food supplies. She discovers that the rationing put in place then was successfully used again in World War Two.

Tom Holland meets the author of the best-seller Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan, to ask whether China is trying to emulate a centuries old history of trade and influence through its Belt and Road policy.

Fashion historian Amber Butchart marks the passing of author Michael Bond to explain the history of Paddington Bear's iconic duffle coat.

And Sam Willis previews Death in the Ice, a new exhibition on Franklin's ill-fated journey to find the North West passage.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jul 11 2017

28mins

Play

Rank #10: 13/09/2016

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Tom Holland is joined by Rebecca Rideal and Dr Tom Lorman to discuss armed revolt, fire and a secret war.

Helen Castor meets up with a witness to the Hungarian Revolution of sixty-years ago and we discuss the changing attitudes to refugees.

In London, Dr Tom Charlton is joined by Professor Vanessa Harding and Professor Justin Champion in what became the 17th century equivalent of the Calais 'jungle' - a refugee camp created by the Great Fire of 1666 which was occupied for years.

And Lord Paddy Ashdown makes the case for a forgotten hero to be remembered on the Making History plinth - the wartime SOE's Roger Landes.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Sep 13 2016

27mins

Play

Rank #11: Bloodlines

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Tom Holland and Iszi Lawrence follow history’s lines and linkages to uncover connections and compelling stories. This week, with the imminent arrival of a new Royal baby, Tom and Iszi examine bloodlines - from some of the Queen’s own surprising ancestors, to the vagaries of dog breeding.

Adam Rutherford discusses how DNA testing has informed the study of history and the programme asks if race really is a question of genetics, or a cultural construct.

Producer: Alison Vernon-Smith
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4

Jan 22 2019

27mins

Play

Rank #12: The End of Steam. St Edmund. Southall Youth Movement

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Tom Holland is joined by the history podcaster and stand-up comedian Iszi Lawrence.

In Britain's recent past, a long hot summer has often coincided with racial unrest on our streets - 1981 is perhaps the most notable example. But while we remember events in Brixton, Toxteth and Tottenham, have we forgotten the tensions in Southall during the 1960s and 70s which, some argue, paved the way for better race relations in the UK? Lovejit Dhaliwal visits a Heritge Lottery project in Southall re-examining the importance of the town's Youth Movement.

King Edmund of East Anglia lost his life in a period of our history when the country we now know as England was still being defined. He was our patron saint until the 14th century but now he's largely forgotten - and so his is resting place. Historian Dr Francis Young has a hunch that he's still in Bury St Edmunds, not in a church but under a tennis court.

Fifty years ago, a programme that some know as 'dieselisation' reached its climax on Britain's railways and saw the end of steam in public service. Many mourn the passing of steam trains but, as Helen Castor found out on a trip to Swindon, keeping these beasts going was dirty, dangerous and laborious.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jul 24 2018

27mins

Play

Rank #13: Helen Castor and guests discuss the stories that are Making History

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Helen Castor is joined by Dr Jane Hamlett from Royal Holloway University of London and the critic and writer Kate Maltby.

Tom Holland travels to Thetford, the ancient capital of East Anglia, to hear evidence that the Iceni were speaking a form of English in the years before the Romans arrived. Dr Daphne Nash Briggs and Dr Sam Newton have examined coins of the period to reveal that the people of Norfolk had as strong a relationship with the Continent as they did with the rest of Britain - and, as well as speaking the Celtic Brittonic language, would also have conversed with their trading partners in the Germanic languages that would eventually become English. If true, this thesis completely changes our ideas that our language came with the Anglo-Saxons after the Romans left these shores.

We travel to Liverpool to try out some Victorian jokes. Its all part of research being carried out by Dr Bob Nicholson at Edge Hill University. Stand-up comic Iszi Lawrence finds out more.

This week's favourite year is 1453, put forward by Dr Rory Cox from St Andrews University.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Mar 15 2016

27mins

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Rank #14: 30/08/2016

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Helen Castor is joined by Professor Ted Vallance from the University of Roehampton and Dr Alex Woolf from the University of St Andrews.

On the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, Dr Tom Charlton heads to St Paul's to learn how preparatory work by Sir Christopher Wren and the storage of printers manuscripts fuelled the inferno. Afterwards, the building lay in ruins and accusations flew freely - many suspecting the destruction of the historic church was the work of Catholics. After an outbreak of the plague and war with the Dutch, these were difficult times for Charles II and the restored monarchy.

Tom Holland visits Glasgow where archaeologists are working on the newly discovered ruins of what they believe to be a twelfth century bishop's palace. The find is shedding more light on the history of the kingdom of Strathclyde, which stretched from the Clyde into modern Cumbria and played a part in fighting Athelstan's attempts to bring all of Britain under his rule in the tenth century. The English king of Wessex and Mercia won the battle against the Scottish kingdoms but was only successful in creating what we now know as England. Alex Woolf explains how long it took for Scotland to become a political entity.

Also, Al Murray nominates Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery for the Making History plinth and Tiffany Watt Smith unpacks the history of anger.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Aug 30 2016

27mins

Play

Rank #15: Bread Lines

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Tom Holland and Iszi Lawrence follow history’s story-laden lines and linkages to uncover connections and compelling stories. This week, with food banks and the effects of austerity never far from the headlines, Tom and Iszi examine breadlines and hunger, from the Scottish clearances to the Rowntrees in York.

Archaeobotanist Professor Dorian Fuller talks about the significance of the recent discovery of the world’s oldest bread – which dates back 14,500 years to the time of hunter-gatherers before the beginning of farming.

Producer: Kim Normanton
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4

Feb 12 2019

28mins

Play

Rank #16: 09/08/2016

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Tom Holland considers historical revelations with a resonance today. He's joined by two archaeologists - Professor Carenza Lewis from the University of Lincoln and David Miles, the former Director of Archaeology and Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage.

As combine harvesters tear into Britain's corn crops, David Miles takes us back to the birth of farming and the transformational period that was the Neolithic.

Iszi Lawrence changes into her running gear to recreate the Battle of Marathon - in Salford. Can historians and sports' scientists work together to solve a mystery surrounding this famous victory of the Greeks over the Persians which continues to puzzle historians?

Think British steel and its places such as Middlesborough, Sheffield and Port Talbot that come to mind. So why is Helen Castor in Clerkenwell? Professors Chris Evans and David Green give her a guided tour of one of Britain's earliest and most important centres of steel production.

And Professor Simon Schaffer at the University of Cambridge tells us why the Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted should really be on the People's Plinth.

Producer Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Aug 09 2016

27mins

Play

Rank #17: Zombies in Yorkshire?

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Helen Castor presents the programme that goes behind the history headlines. Scottish medievalist Fiona Watson and landscape historian Francis Pryor join Helen to discuss medieval mutilations in North Yorkshire, illegal whisky distilling in nineteenth century Scotland and the news that human beings may have evolved in Africa 100,000 years earlier than we thought.

Tom Holland travels to North Yorkshire and the deserted medieval village at Wharram Percy which archaeologists now believe was the site of a gruesome practice of mutilation in the middle ages. Dr Simon Mays is a human skeletal biologist for Historic England and he noticed some odd marks on human bones recovered at Wharram Percy in the sixties. These bones were found in the middle of the deserted village - not in the churchyard. Simon thinks the marks on them were caused by severe blows made shortly after death - maybe to stop disruptive souls from tormenting villagers again.

Whisky writer Rachel McCormack takes us to another remote and deserted location, the Cabrach between Aberdeen and Inverness. This was the centre of a well-developed, but illegal, whisky distilling industry in the eighteenth century. Although the remote location kept these stills hidden from the revenue men it also made them commercially unviable when whisky production was licensed in the 1820s. The ruined farmsteads in this otherwise untouched environment are the only clues to this tumultuous past.

Dr Vanessa King and Dr Matthew Green show Helen a seedy and brutal history of a night out on London's South Bank, and Dr John McNabb responds to news that Homo Sapiens may be 100,000 older than we once thought.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jun 13 2017

27mins

Play

Rank #18: 1968

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Tom Holland is joined by Dr Alice Taylor from King's College in London and the historian of pop culture, Travis Elborough.

Helen Castor charts the course of the Prague Spring, that period of liberalisation in Czechoslovakia brought in when Alexander Dubcek became leader in January 1968. She hears from those who were there and those who study that period now and asks whether people had any inkling what an extraordinary year it would be.

Alice Taylor introduces a new project which will celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 2020. She explains how fact and fiction were brought together to create the notion of a Scottish nation and a document that would heavily influence the Constitution of the United States.

French Journalist Agnes Poirier leafs through the pages of Our Island Story, the 1905 children's book that some argue not only re-imagined English history but then shaped the world-view of some of our political leaders.

Fresh from the publication of his book of twentieth century diary extracts, Travis Elborough discusses if the diary is dead in the digital post-truth age.

And Iszi Lawrence enlists the help of the world wide web in her search for the origins of the expression "hair of the dog".
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jan 02 2018

28mins

Play

Rank #19: 22/03/2016

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Tom Holland is joined by Dr Nick Beech from Queen Mary University of London and Professor Emma Griffin from the University of East Anglia.

We're in Toxteth, Liverpool, to find out more about the history of the terraced house.

Christian Wolmar joins us from King's Cross railway station where he asks whether the Flying Scotsman deserves to be so famous.

And we explore the history of Easter with the Bishop of Norwich who explains why it moves around the calendar.

Helen Castor catches up with Dr Oleg Benesch at the University of York who argues that the Samurai of the nineteenth century borrowed heavily from the Victorian notion of chivalry.

Finally, the author Jenny Uglow shares with us her favourite year - 1798.
Producer Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Mar 22 2016

27mins

Play

Rank #20: Tasting the Past

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Tom Holland and his guests showcase the stories that are making history.

Helen Castor heads for Wales and new scientific research telling us much more about what the Romans ate and how far away they had to source their food to feed their armies. Helen's in Newport, not far from Caerleon which was one of only three permanent fortresses in Roman Britain. Here, archaeologists and scientists from Cardiff University are using dental palaeopathology to discover where the animals that were slaughtered for their meat came from. The results suggest that so-called supply chains were as long and involved as they are today.

Also, we cross the Bristol Channel for more food history as reporter Hester Cant tastes the city's vibrant street food culture and discovers just how long its been established in the UK.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Jan 16 2018

28mins

Play