Tales from the Green Valley
|Tales from the Green Valley|
|Starring||Stuart Peachey, Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn, and Chloe Spencer.|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Lion Television|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
Tales from the Green Valley is a historical documentary TV series in 12 parts, first shown on BBC Two in autumn 2005 and it follows historians and archaeologists as they recreate farm life from the age of the Stuarts. They wear the clothes, eat the food and use the tools, skills and technology of the 1620s.
- The series was made for the BBC by independent production company Lion TV. It was directed and produced by Peter Sommer. The Series Producer was David Upshal. The narrator was Owen Teale, and the music was composed by David Poore.
- The series recreates everyday life on a small farm in Wales in the 1620s, using authentic replica equipment and clothing, original recipes and reconstructed building techniques. Much use is made of period sources such as agricultural writers Gervase Markham and Thomas Tusser.
- The series features historians Stuart Peachey and Ruth Goodman, and archaeologists Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Chloe Spencer.
- The series has been released on DVD, distributed by Acorn Media UK.
- An associated book by Stuart Peachey-–The Building of the Green Valley: a reconstruction of an early 17th-century rural landscape-–was published in 2006.
1 - September: Ploughing with oxen, baking in a hearth.
2 - October: Gathering pears, thatching the cowshed roof with a bracken undercoat and a wheat thatch, period clothes and boots, driving pigs to forage.
3 - November: Slaughtering and butchering a pig, building a daub and wattle wall, harvesting meddlars, salting a table, combing thatch and pegging it down, making hog's liver pudding.
4 - December: Building a hovel (a woodshed), period clothing, peas, preparing for Christmas.
5 - January: Preparing period medicines, wood gathering, hedge laying, ink-making, and home pharmacy.
6 - February: A heavy fall of snow, rebuilding a lavatory, checking the sheep in preparation for lambing, musical instruments, preparing a meal of fish and bagged puddings for lent.
7 - March: Preparing the garden for sowing, wheat threshing, brewing March beer, pig yokes, fun and games, egg and pear pie with stewed salt cod.
8 - April: Spring cleaning, rebuilding a dry stone wall, a new baby calf.
9 - May: Preparing a new field for spring sowing, making charcoal, and butter.
10 - June: Washing and shearing sheep, cheese making, and mid-summer revels.
11 - July: New harvest from the garden (beans and gooseberries), making hay, clothes washing.
12 - August: Fattening geese, goose pie and carrot puree, wheat and straw harvest, reed lights.
A Tudor Feast at Christmas – a "spin-off" from the series, broadcast in December 2006 – showed the team recreating a Tudor banquet at Haddon Hall. The most recent series, set during the reign of Henry VII entitled Tudor Monastery Farm, was broadcast on BBC Two on 13 November 2013.
A new series set in the 19th century entitled Victorian Farm was screened on BBC Two in January 2009 and Edwardian Farm in November 2010. A series set during the Second World War entitled Wartime Farm followed in September 2012, with Tudor Monastery Farm then premièring in November 2013.
The series followed on from a number of social history documentaries on UK television based on historical reconstructions, including The Victorian Kitchen Garden, The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden.
Historical reconstructions of this kind have been used as the basis for a number of shows including The 1900 House, The 1940s House, Coal House and Coal House at War, where modern-day families are set in period living conditions. The most recent example is the series Turn Back Time – The High Street, airing on BBC One from 2 November 2010 for 6 episodes, which sees four families experience city life in various eras from the 1830s to the 1970s.
- Tales from the Green Valley website
- Full list of all 12 episodes
- BBC News Magazine: "Lessons from our ancestors about the countryside"
- Ruth Goodman website
- Alex Langlands website