Britain's Secret Homes

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History Documentary hosted by Bettany Hughes and Michael Buerk, published by ITV in 2013 - English narration

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Image: Britain-s-Secret-Homes-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

Britain's Secret Homes From cottages to council houses, bungalows to palaces, country manor houses to unassuming terraced two-up two-downs some of the most significant homes in our country remain relatively unknown to the public. However, guided by their owners, experts and eye-witnesses, their bricks and mortar offer up accounts of political intrigue, conspiracy, invention, romance and heroism - the very fabric of British history and in some cases its turning points. Presented by two award-winning broadcasters, Michael Buerk and Bettany Hughes, the series also includes contributions from an eclectic range of well-known people and experts, including Sir David Jason, Ricky Tomlinson, Twiggy and Michael Portillo.

[edit] Part 1

Episode 1 sees Bettany Hughes meeting a couple from Somerset who discovered an extraordinary link to Henry VIII while doing some DIY. Children's author Anthony Horowitz goes back to school to explore the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Mark Williams, better known as Arthur Weasley, investigates the home of a wizard invention and poet Simon Armitage pays homage to the almost completely overlooked home of poet William Blake. Michael Portillo check’s out a secret Great Western Railway 3rd class carriage hidden inside a seemingly normal bungalow is testament to a grim time in Cornish history, to the devastating effect of the Depression, and to the ingenuity with which Cornish people responded.

[edit] Part 2

Episode 2 covers homes as wide-ranging as the power base of Owain Glyndwr - a moated ruin in the Welsh hills, home to the last medieval Prince of Wales - to the Mayfair salon of Norman Hartnell, couturier extraordinaire, who designed Elizabeth II's coronation robes in 1953 and put London on the map as a fashion capital. Modern homes feature too - the House in the Clouds at Thorpeness, Suffolk, hovers 70 feet in the air above the coastal village in a former water tower, while Charles Jencks' one-off 'Thematic House' of the early 1980s in London's Holland Park, a temple to Post-Modernism, is the youngest home to feature in the series. Here is the heritage of the future.

[edit] Part 3

Historically this episode takes us from a 4th century hermit's cell to the UK's first penthouse flats via the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, a house built by two 18th century ladies returning from the Grand Tour and the almost equally eccentric home of several generations of the Sitwell family. Geographically we travel from Wales to Patagonia and from Senegal to Surrey! Along the way, we meet one of the first self-made black gentlemen in Britain, a visionary who gave away homes for workers in a lottery and no less a figure than Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

[edit] Part 4

Modern day photographer Rankin visits an Edinburgh house integral to the development of photography, Greg Rusedski visits the home where lawn tennis was invented and Anita Rani explores the story behind an Indian house in Kent. Archaeologist and anthropologist Mary Ann Ochota travels to a remote Shetland isle to explain the importance of a 2,000 year-old tower and this episode even includes a terrace of houses which are in fact not houses at all. Over in Northern Ireland, we find out why a Belfast poor house became the home of the industrial revolution in the city and in Liverpool Rageh Omaar visits the first mosque in England.

[edit] Part 5

The final Top 10 contains Boscobel House, the only English Heritage property "secret" enough to make it onto the list! This is where Charles II spent one night in an oak tree to escape Cromwell's troops and another in a priest's hole. Michael Buerk feels a particular affinity with the house where television was invented and Ronni Ancona is moved by the story behind one of the oldest medieval stone houses to survive in Britain. One of the Welsh homes on the list is a humble but evocative reminder of life in a mining community in the mid 19th century and in the Orkneys we visit a home older than the pyramids.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
  • Video Bitrate: 1805 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.778 (16:9)
  • Video Resolution: 832 x 468
  • Audio Codec: AAC LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 160 Kbps CBR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: stereo (2/0)
  • Audio: English
  • Run-Time: 47mins
  • Framerate: 25fps
  • Number of Parts: 5
  • Part Size: 638 MB
  • Container: mp4
  • Source: PDTV
  • Encoded by: Harry65

  • Release Notes
  • Merged subtitles

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