Tudor Monastery Farm is a British factual television series, first broadcast on BBC Two on 13 November 2013. The series, the fifth in the historic farm series, following the original, Tales from the Green Valley, stars archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold, and historian Ruth Goodman. The team discover what farming was like during the Tudor period at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. The program also recurringly features other historians, such as Colin Richards (an expert on rural crafts), and Professor Ronald Hutton (who specializes in folklore and religious beliefs).

Tudor Monastery Farm
Narrated byGeraldine James
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
ProducerDavid Upshal
Running time60 minutes
Production companyLion Television
Original release
Release13 November (2013-11-13) –
18 December 2013 (2013-12-18)

Production edit

Cast of Tudor Monastery Farm

On 8 August 2013, the BBC announced the series.[1] David Upshal, the executive producer of Lion Television, said: "We are delighted to be continuing with a new Farm series for BBC Two, taking us back to the earliest point in history we have tackled yet. Following the huge success of the Victorian, Edwardian and Wartime Farms, the new series will see us produce our 50th episode in this on-going, immersive living-history adventure."[1] The series was co-commissioned between Martin Davidson and Aaqil Ahmed.[1]

The filming location is the farm at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Sussex.[2][3]

Episode list edit

# Title Directed by Original air date UK viewers
1"Episode 1"Stuart Elliott13 November 2013 (2013-11-13)1.74
The team move in, coppice hazel, build a pig enclosure, commission a guild, plough using oxen, make rushlights, make wattle-and-daub barriers, sow peas and barley using broadcasting, and celebrate religious festivals. They take custody of some Tamworth pigs. They hire workmen to scribe and illuminate documents as well as turn wooden bowls and plates.
2"Episode 2"Giulia Clark20 November 2013 (2013-11-20)1.80
The team work with sheep: driving, milking and shearing them; make cheese from the milk; sort, grade, card and spin wool. Additional they produce a period cold treatment from herbs, steam-bend wood, and celebrate Whitsun. They take custody of geese and drive them to market. They observe the smelting of iron as well as the weaving and fulling of cloth.
3"Episode 3"Stuart Elliott27 November 2013 (2013-11-27)1.80
The team wean piglets, cultivate wild yeast, malt barley, make ale and bread, harvest honey and beeswax, dip candles, shave their sheep's hooves, demonstrate period hair care methods, roast lamb, and celebrate both a mass and the midsummer festival. They take custody of a boar to service their sows. They observe the shaping, moulding, and pouring of a bell, learn about period clock mechanisms and observe a wind-powered grain mill.
4"Episode 4"Stuart Elliott4 December 2013 (2013-12-04)1.72
The team mine, smelt and cast ingots of lead; plait eel baskets and harvest eels; shape stained glass; patronize a pub; pasture their piglets in the forest; paint cloth and manage their garden. Tom sits for a camera obscura portrait.
5"Episode 5"Giulia Clark11 December 2013 (2013-12-11)1.74
The team launder bed linen, serve as cooks and stewards, calcine and slake lime, build a lime-ash floor, churn, press, and salt butter; sanitize the dairy, plait rushes for floormats, lay and press rag paper; prepare lye from ash; harvest tree hay for the animals; harvest and thresh their pea crop, cook a feast and make brandy. They observe period typesetting, printing and bookbinding.
6"Episode 6"Stuart Elliott18 December 2013 (2013-12-18)1.71
The team harvest and stook and store their barley; extract salt from brine, celebrate Michaelmas, carve decorative stone, form and decorate floor tiles, produce blackpowder for Roman candle fireworks, a Damson and Bullace Melomel beverage, and perform a mystery play.

2013 Christmas special edit

On 25 November 2013, the BBC announced that Tudor Monastery Farm would have a Christmas special which explored the festive season as part of BBC Two's Christmas scheduling.[5] The episode was broadcast on 31 December 2013 and overnight figures showed that it attracted 1.57 million viewers (8.06% of the viewing audience).[6] Official figures raised the number of viewers to 1.76 million.

Reception edit

Time Out's Danielle Goldstein gave it three out of five stars and called it "intriguing".[7] Gerard O'Donovan of The Daily Telegraph gave it four out of five stars and said that history had been brought "brilliantly to life on BBC Two".[8] James Alexander Cameron said "Although a little guilty of choosing the National Curriculum-friendly “Tudor” label over “Medieval”,...it remains a rather interesting little programme for a Medievalist Art Historian to have a look at."[9]

Home media edit

The DVD edition was released on 10 February 2014.[10]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "BBC Two announces Tudor Monastery Farm". BBC. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Tudor Monastery Farm, new for BBC Two". BBC. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Exeter academic guides BBC2's new living history series Tudor Monastery Farm". University of Exeter. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  4. ^ "BARB Top 30s".
  5. ^ "A selection of festive treats across the BBC this Christmas". BBC. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  6. ^ Drewett, Meg (1 December 2014). "Graham Norton pulls in 4.7m for New Year special on BBC One". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  7. ^ Goldstein, Danielle (6 November 2013). "Tudor Monastery Farm". Time Out. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  8. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard (13 November 2013). "Tudor Monastery Farm, BBC Two, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  9. ^ Cameron, James Alexander (4 December 2013). "Television review: Tudor Monastery Farm". Medieval Art Research. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Tudor Monastery Farm (DVD)". BBC Shop. Retrieved 19 January 2014.

External links edit