MICHAEL WOOD’S STORY OF ENGLAND
Visit the village of Kibworth, Leicestershire, with historian Michael Wood as he tells the 2,000-year-old story of this one settlement throughout English history. Kibworth, located in the heart of England, lived through the Black Death, the English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and World War II. Intertwining the local and national narratives, Wood presents a moving and informative picture of one local community through time.
7:00 pm Romans to Normans
Join historian Michael Wood to recover — with the help of the local people and the use of archaeology, landscape, language and DNA — the lost history of the first thousand years of Kibworth, featuring a Roman villa, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, and evidence of life after the Norman Conquest. Learn how the oppressive Norman occupation affected the villagers, from the gallows to the alehouse, and see the medieval open fields in action in the only place where they survive.
8:00 pm Peasants’ Revolt and the Black Death
Charts events in the village leading to the people’s involvement in the Civil War of Simon de Montfort and follow the story of Kibworth as it reaches the catastrophic 14th century. The village goes through the worst famine in European history, and then, as revealed in the astonishing village archive in Merton College Oxford, two-thirds of the people die in the Black Death. Helped by today’s residents — field walking and reading the historical texts — and by the local schoolchildren digging archaeological test pits, Michael Wood follows stories of individual lives through these times, out of which the English idea of community and the English character begin to emerge.
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