video topic: Architecture, History, Archaeology
entry type: Documentary series
video title: Hidden Histories season 1 and 2
video series: Hidden Histories
architect featured: mixed
director: Richard Edwards
Presenter: Huw Edwards
run time: 30 mins each
official website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fhqp4
description and preview:
(click "read more" below)
History series looking at how the Royal Commission investigates and records Welsh history.
Huw Edwards narrates another series looking at the hidden histories of Wales through the work of the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments.
Five-part series following the everyday work of the Aberystwyth-based Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
episode 1: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
This episode looks at one of the great engineering achievements of the Industrial Revolution, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, tests the date of an ancient gate at Hay Castle and explores what may be a lost church spotted from the air in the Conwy Valley.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is one of the world's greatest engineering achievements. It was built between 1795 and 1805 to carry the Ellesmere Canal to link the coal mines of Denbighshire to the national canal system and the heartlands of the Industrial Revolution.
The terrain presented many obstacles to the engineers, William Jessop and Thomas Telford, the greatest of which was the crossing of the Dee valley. With its nineteen spans and height of 38.4 metres, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was the tallest aqueduct in the world for 200 years. This spectacular achievement was made possible by the pioneering use of cast iron and the aqueduct became famous as one of the symbols of the new industrial age.
Episode Two follows the extraordinary rediscovery of an Industrial Revolution copperworks in Swansea through an urgent rescue excavation, sees night-time photography of a lost early medieval inscription and reveals a vast Iron Age hillfort near Welshpool, hidden in dense woodland.
The gates of Hay Castle
Surviving gates from the Middle Ages are extremely rare. The gates at Hay Castle can easily be overlooked as they are in a long-closed gateway at the rear.
The castle was rebuilt as a house in the seventeenth century and is now part of the longest-established bookshop in the town of books.
Episode three explores a complete landscape of the Roman army at Tomen-y-mur near Trawsfynydd, examines the clues to Welsh social history at Capel Als, Llanelli, and traces the master-carpenters of Tudor Wales at Old Impton near Presteigne.
Episode Four follows survey work to uncover the rich archaeology of the Welsh uplands, examines an industrial-scale model farm built by a Victorian millionaire and uncovers decorated walls in a sixteenth-century house.
Episode Five looks at a seventeenth-century mansion that has disappeared at Llandeilo, investigates how Wales was defended against a potential Nazi invasion and searches for a lost castle of the Welsh princes.
A look at Stonehenge's link to the Preseli Hills, Swansea's medieval beginnings and bomb-damaged streets, plus the secrets of the highest house in Wales.
This episode looks at how laser scanning has brought a totally new dimension to the history of a quarry in North Wales. Plus, the rediscovery of a medieval fish trap in Fishguard harbour and an architect who built his ideal village at Llanfairfechan.
Discovering what may be a Roman villa in Mid Wales, uncovering the hidden secrets of a Renaissance ceiling at St David's Cathedral, and observing the preservation of a major sculpture at a leading Welsh college.
Episode 4: There's the house that time forgot near Raglan, a visit to the best preserved World War I training trenches at Penally in Pembrokeshire, and a look at new plans to open a visitor centre at Parys Mountain in Anglesey, once the biggest copper mine in the world.
Episode 5: The legacy of a Tudor lord who wanted to turn Denbigh into the capital of North Wales is investigated, and there's a visit to a spectacular cliff-top fort in Pembroke to look at how Iron Age people lived close to the edge. Plus, how Cistercian monks created Wales's first multinational sheep business.
episode 1,2,3 together:
episode 4,5 together: