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Time Pieces History: S2, B1: Barnard Castle

Introduction Barnard Castle, a market town in County Durham, has suddenly found itself in the limelight, thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s special adviser, Dominic Cummings, driving there from his parents’ home, in breach of his own COVID19 lockdown rules. I thought I’d record a bonus episode to tell those who may not be familiar with the area why it’s […]


Time Pieces History: S2, E5: Alnwick Castle

Introduction The story of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, and why it’s so important; the Garden and its Poison Garden, the Percy family, and the hero knight, Harry Hotspur. What You’ll Hear 2:15: The origins of the Castle 2:46: The Barbican 3:50: The Percys’ return to Alnwick 4:07: The Alnwick Garden 5:02: Who are the Percys? 6:31: Harry Hotspur Prefer to […]


Time Pieces History: S2, E4: Durham Cathedral

Introduction In this episode, we look at St Cuthbert and the legends of the founding of the Cathedral. The Norman architecture and why it’s impressive; the stained glass windows, what happened to Cuthbert’s remains, and the Land of the Prince Bishops. What You’ll Hear 0:58: St Cuthbert 1:45: The legends of the Cathedral’s founding 2:47: The Norman Cathedral 3:52: The […]


Time Pieces History: S2, E3: Saltwell Park

Introduction The history of Saltwell Park, from its beginnings as part of the Ravensworths’ estate, to William Wailes and Saltwell Towers, to becoming a public space. Plus the Victorian tradition of benefactors. What You’ll Hear 1:40: William Wailes and the Towers 2:13: The back story to the park 3:16: The People’s Park 4:04: Victorian benefactors 4:40: Shipley Art Gallery Prefer […]


Time Pieces History: S2, E2: Earl Grey

Introduction In this episode, we’re looking at Charles, Earl Grey, whose monument in Newcastle is a focal point for the town and popular meeting spot. Grey was a reformer, one of only two British Prime Ministers from the North East of England, and a keen tea drinker.   What You’ll Hear 0:52: Who was Earl Grey? 2:18: Earl Grey tea […]


Time Pieces History: S2, E1: Bridges Across the Tyne

Introduction In this episode, we look at the first ever bridge across the River Tyne, the seven bridges that span it today, and the history of the Tyne Bridge. And which came first – the Tyne Bridge or the Sydney Harbour Bridge? What You’ll Hear 2:04: The first bridge across the River Tyne 2:37: The people who made their living […]


Time Pieces History: S1, E12: The Shakespeare Author Conspiracy

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 he may not have written […]


Time Pieces History: S1, E11: Pub Names

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 signs 1:44: The original inns […]