Pagans And Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places

Confirmed for BBC Four on 7 March at 8.30pm to 9.00pm

Ep 1/6

Thursday 7 March

8.30pm-9.00pm

BBC FOUR

NEW
Presenter and Welsh poet Ifor ap Glyn explores the wealth of Britain’s extraordinary holy places on a pilgrimage that spans almost 2,000 years of history.

Travelling across the breadth of the UK, Ifor will uncover the stories and rich history behind many of our most famous sites, explaining the myths and legends of some of Britain’s most sacred places.

Over six half-hour episodes, Ifor will visit crumbling ruins, tranquil healing pools, sacred caves, island refuges, towering mountain hideaways and ancient shrines to find out what these historical sites tell us about who we are today. From the divine to the unexpected, the series uncovers Britain’s extraordinary variety of inspirational, surprising and half-forgotten holy places, and brings to life our spiritual history.

In the first episode, Ifor explores why ruins are among the best-preserved and most-loved holy sites in Britain. He’ll take in the famous ruins of St Andrews Cathedral, the mystical atmosphere of Wales’ best-preserved Roman site, the battered remains of Coventry’s iconic cathedral and the Gothic majesty of North Yorkshire’s Whitby Abbey - the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Along the way, he’ll ask why we’re drawn to holy ruins long after their religious use is over. Is it just nostalgia or something much deeper that fuels our obsession and enduring fascination with the decaying grandeur of a ruin?

SS2