The conspiracy theory that Will Shakespeare was not a brilliant playwright after all, and the people who could have written his works instead. Several famous names have been suggested as the person behind The Bard, both men and women, and even royalty.   What You’ll Hear 1:00: What we know about William Shakespeare 1:57: Why…

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The reasons behind some of the most common pub names in Britain, and learn more about their bloody past. We delve into the stories behind names which include colours, animals, plants, equipment, heads and bells. Plus a quick look at unique pub names from around the country.   What You’ll Hear 1:07: Why pubs had…

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A look at Oliver Cromwell, a divisive but significant figure in British history. We consider what made him so unpopular, his achievements in government and on the battlefield, his early life and his grisly afterlife.   What You’ll Hear 0:53: Cromwell’s early life 1:23: The start of his political career 2:05: Cromwell as army commander…

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Were hatters really mad? The fate of hatters both fictional and real, and other dangerous occupations. We look at matchstick making, mining, chimney sweeps, mudlarking and toshing in the London sewers.   What You’ll Hear 0:38: Lewis Carroll’s mad hatter 1:37: Erethism – the truth behind the mad hatter story 3:10: Hazardous jobs for children…

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The story behind the failed Gunpowder Plot, and how we remember it today. We also look at the challenges King James VI and I faced when he came to the throne and what else the Jacobean era is famous for.   What You’ll Hear 0:42: The background to the Plot 1:32: What was the reason…

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There’s nothing more British than an afternoon tea. But is it really that British? We look at the history of the afternoon tea and what’s included, the difference between it, high tea and a cream tea, plus we look at the origins of tea and teapots.   What You’ll Hear 0:59: The international history of…

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In this episode, we look at Raymond Briggs’ Fungus the Bogeyman, the hobgoblins that inspired the legend, the real ‘buggy men’ and Fungus’ gruesome counterparts from around the world.   What You’ll Hear 0:50: Raymond Brigg’s bogeyman – Fungus 2:08: The origins of the bogeyman 2:55: Characteristics of the bogeyman 3:18: The ‘buggy men’ 3:38:…

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Queen Elizabeth I is arguably one of the most famous and royals – she’s certainly one of the most recognisable! In this episode, I give five facts about Elizabeth I you might not know.   What You’ll Hear 0:56: How she honoured her mother, Anne Boleyn 1:34: Elizabeth I was well educated 2:12: Was Elizabeth…

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Why the motte and bailey castle was the perfect defensive structure for the ancient French, and how the Normans adapted it from the original design.   What You’ll Hear 0:45: What exactly is a motte & bailey castle? 1:50: Who built motte & baileys? 2:32: The Vikings in France 3:12: Warkworth Castle Prefer to read?…

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Monks have been making their own alcohol for centuries! We explore the history of Northumbrian monasteries and the making of mead, Buckfast Tonic Wine and beer.   What You’ll Hear 0:54: St Aidan & St Cuthbert 1:50: Monks & mead 2:15: The Benedictines & their infamous Buckfast Tonic Wine 3:55: Belgian not-for-profit beers Prefer to…

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