Historian Michael Wood continues his journey exploring the United Kingdom's remarkable past from the perspective of ordinary people.
Charting the Reformation, Michael visits a fascinating community project revealing medieval wall paintings in Llancarfan, near Cardiff, and follows the Cornish Prayer Book rebellion from one parish to its defeat in battle by the government's army in Exeter.
As the Reformation proceeds, other forces are working in British society with the rise of industry and commerce. In Scotland there's the amazing discovery of the remains of a mine dug under the River Forth. In Bristol, Tudor merchants open up Atlantic trade and the first black community is found in Whitechapel, London. The tale opens out to the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland where Michael examines a unique Gaelic and English phrase book written for Elizabeth herself in the hope of better Anglo-Irish understanding.
By the 1580s the establishment had triumphed and the old world was all but swept away. The programme traces the rise of radical religious ideas at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, ideas that would lead to the radicalism of the mid century in England and the Pilgrim Fathers in America and as a woman at the village fete said: 'America began here in Scrooby'!