Layer Marney Tower

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Episode 5 of 15

Duration: 30 minutes

Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and novice climber, scales Britain's most iconic structures, from the Normans to the present day, to reveal the buildings' secrets and tell the story of how our architecture and construction have developed over 1000 years.

The next step in Jonathan's journey takes him to Layer Marney Tower, a Tudor skyscraper nestled in the countryside near Colchester in Essex.

With unprecedented access to Layer Marney, Jonathan, aided by top climber Lucy Creamer, scales the building to reveal the innovations of the Tudor builders and craftsmen. On his adventure, Jonathan scales the highest and most majestic Tudor gatehouse in Britain to investigate why brick, an art form that died out with the Roman Empire, suddenly became the must-have building material for Tudor nobles. As he climbs all over the building, he walks a tightrope between the beams of a 500-year-old roof to investigate how Layer Marney's history is literally carved into the building; exposes the cunning Tudor tricks of the trade that make the house appear even more opulent than it actually is; and reveals the connection between parmesan cheese and the beautifully ornate terracotta carvings that adorn the building.


Jonathan Foyle
Lucy Creamer
Camera Operator
Ian Burton
Kasia Uscinska
Series Producer
Adam Barry
Executive Producer
Emma Read


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