Episode 2

Image for Episode 2Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 2 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

Historical observational documentary series following a team who live the life of Victorian farmers for a year. Wearing period clothes and using only the materials that would have been available in 1885, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn are going back in time to relive the day-to-day life of the Victorian farmer.

The project is based on the Acton Scott estate in Shropshire - a world frozen in time, lost in Victorian rural England. Its buildings and grounds are cluttered with antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family, who have lived on the estate since the 12th century.

Working for a full calendar year, Ruth, Alex and Peter are rediscovering a lost world of skills, crafts and knowledge, assisted by an ever-dwindling band of experts who keep Victorian rural practices alive. Each month and season brings pressing priorities, from tending to livestock and repairing buildings to raising crops, preparing food and crafting furniture and tools. Can they make a success of farming the Victorian way?

As autumn ends, winterproofing begins in earnest: essential work if the livestock and crops are to make it through the cold and frost. The team stock up on animal feed using a host of Victorian machinery. Peter faces his biggest challenge so far: building pigsties. Ruth tackles the laundry, a gruelling four-day process that Victorians tackled weekly. The ram arrives on the farm; ensuring he gets the ewes pregnant is the only way to produce lambs in the spring. The team take delivery of a Shire horse. There is a traditional Victorian Christmas to look forward to, including decorations, cookery and church carols. They celebrate Christmas Day with the friends they have made over the past four months.

Credits

Producer
Stuart Elliott
Producer
David Upshal

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