Episode 5

Image for Episode 5Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 5 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 go 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 rediscover 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?

In this episode, the team embarks on a trip by steam train, Ruth begins a tough task in the dairy, Alex tries his hand at bee-keeping, the sheep get sheared using the latest time-saving technology, and the lengthening summer days allow Alex and Peter to try out the new Victorian sport of cricket. It is also time for the hay harvest, weather permitting.

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