Detectives at Large
BBC TWO, transmission in March
Returning to BBC TWO, a new House Detectives
team is on the beat.
this new series, architectural historian Dan
Cruickshank is joined by two new detectives:
archaeologist Carenza Lewis and conservationist
and forensic scientist Anna Bennett.Their brief
is to investigate the secret history of four
major buildings - Wigmore Abbey in Herefordshire;
Harewood House in North Yorkshire; Ditherington
Flax Mill in Shropshire and the home of Clive
of India in Calcutta.
their professional expertise, the House Detectives
At Large unravel and scrutinise the mysteries
hidden in each building. The link between Britains
great 18th century houses and the Atlantic slave
trade is unearthed in the attics of Harewood
House; 14th century monastic intrigue and a
royal murder is investigated at Wigmore Abbey;
The detectives campaign to save Clives
decaying villa in Calcutta before it disappears
for ever; and they set out to prove that Ditherington
Flax Mill is the grandfather of the skyscraper.
and dedicated, the House Detectives At Large
leave no stone unturned.
Detectives At Large is a BBC production for
the first programme in the series, House Detectives
At Large uncovers the secrets of Harewood House
in Yorkshire, one of Britains most beautiful
stately homes. In 1738 Edwin Lascelles inherited
the equivalent of £30 million from his
ambitious father Henry, a sugar trader in the
Carribbean. Edwin built Harewood House to reflect
his new wealth and social standing, bringing
together some of the greatest talents of the
age: John Carr, Capability Brown, Thomas Chippendale
and Robert Adams.
the guidebook splendour there is still much
to learn about the houses history. Using
their specialist knowledge, the House Detectives
start to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding
this fantastic palace. Carenza Lewis explores
the grounds in search of the Temple of Venus,
with only architects drawings to go on.
Anna Bennett investigates Harewoods interiors,
including paintings by Turner, and turns up
a possible Chippendale chair discarded in the
attic, which could be worth £200,000.
And Dan Cruickshank journeys to the Caribbean
to investigate the Barbados connection.
the way they make some exciting discoveries:
a key to the gardens of Buckingham Palace and
artefacts that shed light on the whereabouts
of the missing temple. In Barbardos, Dan searches
for the exact site of the Lascelles sugar
factories and meets a descendant of a Harewood
plantation worker. With the help of the House
Detectives At Large, Lord and Lady Harewood
can start to unlock the secrets of Harewood
Abbey in the heart of Herefordshire is the setting
for this second investigation by the House Detectives
At Large. In the 14th century it was owned by
Roger Mortimer, the man behind the brutal murder
of King Edward II with a red hot poker. Its
now home to actor John Challis, better known
as Boycie in Only Fools and Horses. According
to local legend, the remains of the treacherous
Roger, who was having an affair with the queen,
are buried in Johns garden, a legend John
hopes the team will verify.
lives in the Abbots lodging, the only
building to survive the dissolution of the monasteries
in the 1530s. As Dan Cruickshank and Carenza
Lewis hunt for clues to Roger Mortimers
final resting place, Anna Bennett is restoring
the Abbots parlour to its medieval glory.
Taking a sample from the plaster she finds an
authentic historic colour scheme and sets out
to replicate it using natural earth pigments.
But Anna must still do something about a vulgar
1970s style fireplace and discover if a "medieval"
chair is the real thing.
permission from English Heritage, Carenza Lewis
starts to dig at the east end of the old Abbey
- the place where Roger Mortimer is most likely
buried. It all looks very promising when she
uncovers a medieval tiled floor. Will the detectives
solve the mystery of Wigmore Abbey and will
it be the answer John Challis is hoping for?
Detectives At Large travels to India to the
home of Robert Clive, the founder of the British
Empire in India. Situated in the suburb of Dum
Dum, just four miles from the centre of Calcutta,
Clives house once had all the charm and
elegance of the neo-classical villas of 18th
century English shires. Now it has been reduced
to a ruin, structurally dangerous and seemingly
beyond repair. Dan Cruickshank, Carenza Lewis
and Anna Bennett must gather enough information
to prove that it is a major historical site
and save the building before it is too late.
the detectives explore further, it emerges that
Clive pioneered a design fusing classical and
Indian architecture. He combined his own love
of English classicism with the long receptions
rooms he admired at the houses of wealthy Indian
merchants and princes. And he put in deep verandas
to provide shade from the unforgiving sun. The
villa was lavisly decorated to show off his
wealth and power, while an army of 174 servants
catered to Clives every whim. He was carried
through the streets by a team of bearers on
a palanquin, which still survives at Powis Castle
House Detectives are granted an audience with
the Bengali authorities as they struggle to
find evidence that Clives house must be
saved. Carenza eventually unearths some exciting
new information among the East India company
records at the British Library, and Dan and
Anna track down important new clues at Clives
house. Have the House Detectives uncovered enough
to save Clive of Indias house?
the last programme in the series, the House
Detectives At Large journey to Shropshire to
uncover the little known origins of the skyscraper
at Ditherington Flax Mill in Shrewsbury. Many
textile mills have survived from the industrial
revolution, and Ditherington is not be the oldest,
biggest or most spectacular. But the House Detectives
task is to try to prove that this building in
the suburbs of Shrewsbury is a site of major
international importance - the birthplace of
the modern skyscraper.
was built in 1796, part of the empire being
created by Leeds-based industrialist John Marshall
and designed by his business partner Charles
Bage. It took over a year to build and was a
first in structural engineering: it was the
first iron-framed building in the world. Dan
Cruickshank, Carenza Lewis and Anna Bennett
want to discover more about the elusive Bage
and the importance of his pioneering architecture.
The House Detectives also hope Ditherington
will shed light on the men, women and children
who have slipped through history - the ordinary
workers who laboured at the mill all their lives.
complete their journey, the detectives must
travel 4,000 miles across the Atlantic to Chicago,
the city heralded as the birthplace of the skyscraper.
A fire in 1871 destroyed much of the heart of
the city and offered architects a unique opportunity
to re-create their city. The on-going demolition
of the old Chicago Tribune newspaper building
allows the House Detectives to explore the structure
of an early skyscraper. Will their investigations
prove that Bage has left a lasting legacy on
Dan Cruickshank is one of the countrys
leading architectural and historic building
experts. He has written and presented a number
of television programmes for the BBC, The Victorian
Way of Death, Sex in the Eighteenth Century,
One Foot in the Past and most recently Invasion.
is an active member of the Georgian Group and
the Architectural Panel of the National Trust
and is a director of the Spitalfields Historic
Buildings Trust, a charity that acquires and
repairs Georgian domestic architecture in London.
is also a frequent contributor to The Architects
Journal and The Architectural Review and is
the author of Life in The Georgian City, and
The Guide To The Georgian Buildings Of Britain
And Ireland. Dan has also written a book to
accompany the BBC series Invasion.
Archaeologist Carenza Lewis will be a familiar
face to viewers of Channel 4s Time Team.
In 1985 she joined the Royal Commission on the
Historical Monuments of England, now part of
English Heritage, as a field archaeologist for
Wessex. She was seconded to the History Department
of Birmingham University for two-and-a-half
years, and she is now based at the University
is author of a number of archaeological works
including Time Teams Timechester, A Companion
to Archaeology, with Phil Harding and Mick Aston.
Anna Bennett has undertaken a wide variety of
conservation projects including the restoration
of Uppark, an 18th century National Trust house,
badly damaged by fire. She has worked as a practising
conservator for English Heritage, the John Paul
Getty Museum in Malibu and the National Museum,
Copenhagen, and as a site conservator on excavations
around the world including Greece, Thailand
has had a number of articles published in World
Archaeology, Arts of Asia and Apollo magazine.
She is the co-author of a monograph on Roman