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Episode 1

Uncovering the stories behind historic buildings as they are dismantled and resurrected in new locations. This looks at aviation pioneer Claude Grahame-White's watchtower.

Dan Cruickshank and Charlie Luxton uncover the incredible hidden stories behind historic buildings as they are dismantled brick by brick, and meticulously resurrected in new locations.

Every year thousands of ordinary buildings are demolished, smashed down to make way for the new, but some are so special they are snatched from the bulldozers and carefully dismantled. When a new home can be found for them, they are lovingly and painstakingly rebuilt. These are not grand buildings, but everyday buildings that give an extraordinary insight into the lives of the people who lived and worked in them. Deep within their fabric are preserved astonishing stories about how we lived and worked.

Architectural designer Charlie Luxton explores how these vast and hugely complex jigsaw puzzles are pieced back together, trying his hand at the array of ancient crafts required. Meanwhile, architectural historian Dan Cruickshank investigates the buildings' history, proving that even seemingly humble buildings have incredible stories to tell.

In this episode Dan and Charlie follow the reconstruction of one of Britain's earliest aviation buildings: Claude Grahame-White's watchtower. Graham-White was a heroic pioneer of early aviation and his watchtower was the nerve centre of the vast aircraft factory he built to supply warplanes for World War I.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 5 Oct 2015 23:00

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Role Contributor
Presenter Dan Cruickshank
Presenter Charlie Luxton
Executive Producer Julian Ware
Producer Jamie Simpson
Producer Caroline Ross Pirie
Director Jamie Simpson
Director Caroline Ross Pirie


  • Fri 6 Apr 2012 21:00
  • Fri 6 Apr 2012 21:30
  • Sat 7 Apr 2012 00:30
  • Thu 28 Jun 2012 01:30
  • Thu 28 Jun 2012 02:25
  • Wed 30 Sep 2015 20:00
  • Thu 1 Oct 2015 00:00
  • Mon 5 Oct 2015 23:00