Joining Tom Holland for the first programme in the series is Professor Alexandra Walsham from the University of Cambridge who wrote 'The Reformation of the Landscape' which was published in 2011.
Alongside Alexandra is the archaeologist, historian and Fenland shepherd Professor Francis Pryor.
The Lost Fens
Professor Ian Rotherham from Sheffield Hallam University takes us to Wicken Fen near Ely, one of the last remaining natural fens, to describe what he sees as Britain’s greatest ecological disaster: the drainage of the northern and southern fens. Ian uses extracts from literature to show how our relationship with wetlands has changed over time and how the damage to the fens went almost unseen.
The Lost Fens is published by The History Press ISBN 978 0 7524 8699 4.
Professor Rotherham is organising a conference entitled War & Peat which will be held in Sheffield for two days starting on Wednesday 4 September.
Bridgwater on November 5th
Making History listener Steve Pole wonders whether the spark for, what is today, Europe’s largest illuminated carnival was the Monmouth Rebellion and the Glorious Revolution that followed and not the Gunpowder plot of 1605.
Steve meets up with Helen Castor and Professor Ronald Hutton from the University of Bristol who agrees that Monmouth, the arrival of William or Orange at Brixham on 5th November 1688 all play a part in the origins of today’s carnival. However, it survives because in the eighteenth and nineteenth century it was encouraged as a way of providing an outlet for gangs who were antagonistic to local worthies. That it survives today has as much to do with the celebration of local difference than it does the events of the 17th century.
A story repeated in no less than three separate 13th century sources tells how the sheriff of Essex requisitioned some 40 cockerels, which he intended to set on fire and then send flying into London. Could this be true? Tom talks to Dr Andrew Ayton at the University of Hull.