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The British History Podcast

The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won’t find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you’ll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the histories of England, Scotland, and Wales.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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360 – The Long Game

In 1040, while England was dealing with the chaos of Harthacnut’s reign and the threat of yet another succession mess, Scotland was dealing with its own set of problems. The northern Kingdom just lost its king. And that wasn’t anything new for Scotland… their Kings rarely lasted long.

30mins

19 Nov 2020

Rank #1

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264 – The Lost Rebellion

In the year 909 we get an odd entry from the Chronicle. “This year St. Oswald’s body was removed from Bardney into Mercia.” It’s an weird entry that caps a very strange section of the Chronicle. In the seven year period from 902 to 909 we’ve got three blank years, two star gazing entries, one […]

38mins

5 Jan 2018

Rank #2

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51 – Dark Ages Feasting

This is a combination episode covering everything to do with feasting in Anglo Saxon Britain! Support the Show

1hr 27mins

4 Aug 2012

Rank #3

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15 – Hadrian’s Wall

Have you ever wanted to know about Hadrian’s Wall? Have you ever wondered what life was like there, how it was constructed, or even just the basic question of “what exactly is Hadrian’s Wall?” Then this is the podcast for you! (History of Britain, History of England, History of Wales, History of Scotland, Celtic History, […]

41mins

21 Aug 2011

Rank #4

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262 – AEthelred and AEthelflaed

A year after Edward took the throne – in year 901, while he was still fighting AEthelwold’s rebellion – something strange appeared in the Charters. This event doesn’t get discussed in the Chronicle. But these Charters reveal that in 901, there was an enormous gathering of the important political figures of Wessex. This gathering took […]

27mins

1 Dec 2017

Rank #5

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28 – Constantine and Britannia Sitting in a Tree

Oh yeah, we’ve got a real love affair going on here. (History of Britain, History of England, History of Wales, History of Scotland, Celtic History, Roman History) Support the Show

32mins

21 Dec 2011

Rank #6

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271 – How to Break a Kingdom in Six Months

For the last several years, the Anglo Saxons had been on a true war footing. AEthelflaed and Edward had been showing skill and audacity in the field, and it had paid dividends. Under their leadership, the Anglo Saxon kingdoms of the south had been taking the fight to the Danish controlled lands and were seizing […]

58mins

11 Mar 2018

Rank #7

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274 – The Missing Shire

In the last several episodes I’ve been breaking down the weird evidence that surrounds Edward towards the end of his reign. It’s been a deep dive and has been focused on some pretty granular details, and the reason why I’ve done that is because I can’t conclusively make a statement on what he did… it’s […]

26mins

5 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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42 – Wait, Where Are We? A summary of the history of Britain so far.

Today we are going to be recapping the story thus far. (History of Britain, History of Scotland, Celtic History, Welsh History, English History) Support the Show

32mins

6 Apr 2012

Rank #9

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2 – Invasion of Giant Deer, Cannibals, and Celts!

A whirlwind tour of the 70,000 years of the history of Britain, taking us through pre-historic Britain and landing us finally at the eve of Julius Caesar’s invasions of Britannia. You will learn about the early beginnings of England, Scotland, and Wales while also getting a sense of what ice age Britain was like. For […]

28mins

28 May 2011

Rank #10

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287 – The Conquest of Scotland

For the last six years, AEthelstan had been ruling in a manner that hasn’t been seen in Britain for generations. Beyond being a warlord, or even a King… AEthelstan was acting more like an Emperor. All of the Anglo Saxon territories were annexed into his new Kingdom of England, the Kings of Wales were now […]

26mins

27 Jul 2018

Rank #11

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285 – Full Court Press

The Era of AEthelstan is one of contradictions. His behavior, his policies, his wars… pretty much everything that is happening during this period seems to have an element of duality. This man was discussed by scholars of his time in terms of his piety and his generosity both with the church and also with his […]

28mins

11 Jul 2018

Rank #12

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206 – Did the Great Heathen Army Persecute Christians?

Last week we covered the events of 869. The situation was dire. We have at least one dead Anglo Saxon king, two Anglo Saxon kingdoms that were now under the thumb of the Danes, and as far as the record tells us, everyone else was just keeping their heads down. They may have taken comfort […]

29mins

11 Jun 2016

Rank #13

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272 – The End of the Age of AEthelflaed

Trying to tell the story of AEthelflaed is like trying to study gravity. We know her indirectly, by the impressions she left and the political shifts that happen around her. We can see the impact she left both on her lands, and in the devotion of her subjects. And so in many respects, we know […]

29mins

15 Mar 2018

Rank #14

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202 – The Fall of Eoforwic

When we left off last time, King Edmund of East Anglia had paid a Danegeld to the Great Heathen Army… and rather than leaving, the army had set up camp in his Kingdom. It was a situation that would have caused all manner of havoc for virtually everyone who lived in the small eastern Kingdom. […]

29mins

11 May 2016

Rank #15

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258 – The Rise of King Edward I of Wessex

On October 26th, 899, Alfred the Great died. He left behind his wife, Eahlswitha, as well as his grown children. I imagine that the loss of Alfred was probably quite difficult on all of them. It’s always hard to lose a family member. But for Edward… the designated heir… what must that have been like? […]

27mins

30 Oct 2017

Rank #16

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273 – I Do… Do I?

Last episode we talked about the rapid growth of AEthelflaed’s power, Edward’s militarizing AEthelflaed’s borders, Edward visiting her at her capital city and bringing his army with him… the fact that she died shortly thereafter and Edward ordered his army to occupy the city… and then the signs of rebellion coming out of Northern Mercia, […]

24mins

29 Mar 2018

Rank #17

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333 – The Conquest of England

England in 1013 was a Kingdom begging to be conquered. Decades of bad decisions have eroded its foundations and now it sat as a mere shadow of its former glory. It had none of the military prowess established by King AEthelstan. None of the political stability enjoyed under King Edgar. And none of the smart […]

33mins

8 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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269 – The Western Front

Wessex and Mercia have had a busy decade. Both kingdoms militarized their borders, fought off invasion forces, and even took the offensive and marched into neighboring kingdoms. And even though the Chronicle is mysteriously tight lipped on all of these fights, it’s clear that way more than just construction work was going on at all […]

27mins

23 Feb 2018

Rank #19

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3 – The Island at the Edge of the World – Part 1

56 BCE to 55 BCE. Julius Caesar is coming to Britain, and he’s bringing his friends. He claimed that he wanted to punish the Celtic warriors from Britain for interferring with his Gallic wars, but modern scholars suspect that he was simply trying to bolster his resume. Whatever the case, one of the most famous […]

26mins

30 May 2011

Rank #20