L-R: Deborah Miles-Williams, television historian Michael Wood and Pauline Carroll
University archaeologists help with survey for new BBC series
Acclaimed television historian Michael Wood is embarking on a fascinating history of England for a new 6 part BBC series charting the roots and the rise of the English from the last days of the Roman Empire up to the Second World War.
The series will be based around the old parish of Kibworth in the hundred of Gartree, which today comprises of Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp and Smeeton Westerby. Seated in the very heart of England, it has a Roman past, straddles the dividing line between the Vikings and the Saxons and is rich in records and documents.
A key feature will be the detailing of peoples lives through documents: letters, diaries, censuses, medieval tax rolls and the Domesday Book. The research team will be working with the National Archive, the British Library, Leicester Records Office in Wigston, Merton College Library.
The series will set the lives of the local people against the backdrop of national events: the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the Civil War and the agricultural and industrial revolutions.
On the weekend of July 25th and 26th, in association with television historian Michael Wood and Carenza Lewis, local families and volunteers, some from the University’s School of Archaeology & Ancient History; staff, Debbie Miles-Williams, Pauline Carroll, and students, spent the weekend excavating small archaeological test pits in various locations around the villages of Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt and Smeeton Westerby as part of this historical survey.