How We Built Britain

Episode 1: The East: A New Dawn

David Dimbleby journeys through Britain, and through 1,000 years of our history, to discover the buildings that have made us who we are.

His journey begins in the east of England, in medieval times the richestplace in Britain, and home to some of our most spectacular buildings. He climbs the tower of Ely Cathedral, explores magnificent castles, learns how to build a medieval barn, goes on a pilgrimage, experiences life in a great hall and learns how the Black Death turned England upside down.


Episode 3: Scotland: Towering Ambitions

Credited as Co-Editor

David Dimbleby travels Britain and through 1,000 years of history to discover the buildings that have made us who we are. In Scotland he visits Stirling Castle, dramatic symbol of the birth of a new country, and the fairytale tower house of Craigevar. He travels to the crofts of the Outer Hebrides, to the castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to the sparkling granite city of Aberdeen and to the tenements of Glasgow – home of Scotland’s greatest architect, Charles Rennie Macintosh.


Episode 6:The South: Dreams of Tomorrow

David Dimbleby completes his journey through Britain, discovering how the nation’s history has shaped its buildings, in the south of England, exploring its dramatic transformation in the 20th century. Moderntechnology opened up new worlds to ordinary people, changing the way they worked, lived and played. He begins in Metroland, part of the suburban explosion of the 20s and 30s, with its ‘Tudorbethan’ houses and sumptuous cinemas like Moorish palaces; traces the arrival of the bold new modern style at a glorious public swimming pool on the south coast; and sees what effect the war had on what we built – from much-loved prefabs to highrise blocks. And he visits the new temples of money in the City of London – breathtaking towers of steel and glass – and asks how many of them will still be there in a hundred years from now.

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