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history
Mapping the Town
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Wednesday, 11am - 11.30am
The programme that uncovers the history of a town through the geographical clues found in its streets. With the help of local experts, archaeologist Julian Richards picks over the bones of each town in order to discover its origins and the course of its development over the years. This is an original way of exploring the history of a town which offers new and often surprising insight and brings to life the unique character of each place.
Begins 10 August 2005 for six weeks
Prog 6 Whitby

 Used as the setting for Bram Stoker's Dracula  and sought out for its great fish and chips, there is much more to this fishing town than fiction and food.

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Prog 5 Chipping Camden

 Archaeologist Julian Richards examines how agricultural decline and the fashion for wildscape made this Cotswold village the perfect home for the Arts and Crafts movement at the beginning of the 20th century. But what lasting effect did these artists have on the streetscape, and why does the 21st century visitor see a town centre that's apparently changed very little in 500 years?
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Prog 4. Bournemouth

The archetype of a seaside town, Bournemouth, was purpose built. It didn't exist until the early 1800s and was planned and controlled meticulously. Once a restricted town of large villas and genteel folk, it has adapted and evolved through the ages to become the hot spot it is today.

Julian Richards traces the roots of the town from smuggling paradise to disco heaven and meets some of the characters who shaped it.
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Prog 3. Stirling

It is said 'whoever controls Stirling controls Scotland'. It lies at the strategic heart of the country and owes its history to the bridge that crosses the nearby River Forth. The bridge was the only practical way to cross the river and it was fought over for centuries. The Wallace monument casts its shadow over the city and a statue of Robert the Bruce stands proudly at the foot of the castle.

So was Stirling just a conduit to the castle? Or did it emerge into the light and build a life of its own? Julian Richards takes a trip through Stirling to investigate its royal past. 
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Prog 2. Stratford-upon-Avon

What would Stratford be without Shakespeare? The modern town may have the Bard to thank for its prosperity, but what has the working market town lost in its conversion into a literary shrine? Julian Richards discovers a Medieval street plan behind the fake Elizabethan façades, and weighs up the benefits and the costs of 'Bard-olatry'.
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Prog 1. Blaenavon

Blaenavon in South Wales is a town built on iron. Families had scratched a living mining iron ore in the hills around Blaenavon since Norman times but it was small scale and barely provided a living. But the coming of the industrial revolution changed everything.

Thousands came seeking work in the new foundries of South Wales and soon Blaenavon had enough residents to support 48 pubs and 18 chapels and a town was born. Julian travels to Wales to tell the story of the industrial revolution and map the building of Blaenavon.
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In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg

Thursday, 9.00 - 9.45am, rpt 9.30pm
Melvyn Bragg explores the history of ideas.
Listen again online or download the latest programme as an mp3 file.



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