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Buildings That Shaped Britain
Title: Buildings That Shaped Britain – Series (2006) [TVRip (XVID)] "DW Staff Approved"
Produced by: Talkback Thames
Original Channel: Channel 5
Original Date: June/July 2006
Recent Channel: ABC1
Recent Date: 17 July 2008 to 4 September 2008
Codec and format: XVID.avi
Category: Documentary / Educational
DW Staff Approved
Forum reference http://thebox.bz/forums.php?action=viewtopic&topicid=13127
Eight part series chronologically profiles the most significant evolutions in British architecture and the relationship this architectural history has had on the cultural, social and political development of Britain from The Dark Ages to the 21st Century,.
Presented by Simon Thurley, respected historian and Chief Executive of English Heritage, takes viewers on a journey looking at Britain's historic buildings, telling a compelling narrative of our nation's past and human ingenuity. Visiting Britain's groundbreaking buildings, Thurley shows how over the last thousand years Britain has developed its own distinctive architecture and how this tells us much about who we are today.
With the additional help of period specialists – historians, engineers, archaeologists and architectural historians, the series uncovers amazing stories and revelations about each building in a quest to find out why and how they have helped change the architectural, social, political and geographical landscape of Britain.
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Runtime......: 00: 46:40
Video Codec..: XVID (XviD ISO MPEG-4)
Video Bitrate: 1973kb/s
Audio Codec..: MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 48000Hz 110 kb/s tot , Joint Stereo LAME3.97
Frame Size...: 720x416 [=16:9]
1. Invasion (Conquest) (02 June 2006)
This first episode looks at the might and power of the Normans who destroyed all the Anglo-Saxon traces in their path when they conquered Britain in 1066. They stamped their wealth and brutality in their buildings - soaring, stone edifices of castles, cathedrals and monasteries that spoke intimidation and terror, but also paradoxically, reverence to God.
2. Gothic (Skyscrapers of the Middle Ages) (09 June 2006)
The finer, pointed arches of Gothic architecture came to Britain in the Middle Ages, courtesy of French masons who learned it from Arab architects.
Opening up the dark and sombre Norman style, Gothic cathedrals became places of light and space. Little wonder they were often referred to as 'heaven on earth'.
Gothic became known as the architecture of learning as the buildings of Oxford were constructed in this style. The amazing weight-bearing capacities of Gothic style are born out in the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral where a spire 150 metres high sits atop the structure built on a boggy paddock, with just 1.3m deep foundations.
3. Castles and Monastries (16 June 2006)
Knowledgeable and engaging presenter Simon Thurley continues this fascinating series with a look at the rise of castles across the British countryside.
The monasteries were mainly successful corporations of their time, amassing considerable wealth via donations from the rich trying to 'buy' their salvation.
When Henry VIII closed the monasteries during the reformation of 1539, most were stripped of their valuables and the wealth went into his coffers and made a number of his courtiers and friends extremely rich. These noblemen built magnificent castles to boast their social status and wealth. As peace settled through Britain, the elaborate architecture of these castles was for show rather than for their owners' self-protection.
4. The Country House (23 June 2006)
Historian presenter Simon Thurley turns his attention to the English country house that represented the very heart of Britain's political, economic and cultural life in the 16th to 18th century.
Unlike Europe, where power resided absolutely with the monarch, in Britain it rested not only with the king, but also with parliament, which was controlled by the great men of the counties and shires.
These aristocrats were kings in their own little 'countries'. Flush with money given to them by Henry VIII after he took over the monasteries, they cemented that power through building wonderful houses. More than 700 were built between 1530 and 1750 and their design reflected the roles of lord and ladies and the distancing of their assistants to 'downstairs' staff.
5. Birth of the Metropolis (30 June 2006)
Episode five of this fascinating series looks at how cities grew and how houses, streets and town squares developed to enhance advantageous alliances.
Presenter Simon Thurley explains how British cities stemmed from dodgy property deals, high society marriage markets and low life criminals.
Before the restoration of the monarchy, London was built behind a high wall, crammed houses and shops jutting out from narrow and winding lanes.
But with the king and his courtiers residing in London, people wanted to live like them, in houses with smart fronts overlooking fashionable squares to promenade around. In Bath, York and Bristol, the upwardly mobile styled their houses along classic Roman lines picked up from their holidays on the continent.
6. The Countryside Revolution (07 July 2006)
The picturesque English countryside of rolling fields and hamlets is not a natural rural scene. It has been man made, explains historian presenter Simon Thurley on the countryside revolution of Britain.
When medieval strip farming methods were thrown out in the 18th century to improve yields, the landscape changed radically to a patchwork of hedgerows and fields. In 40 years, three million acres of England, Scotland and Wales were transformed, and corn production increased 40 per cent.
A series of model farms grew up as agriculture determined the architecture. Landscapers cleverly conjured up natural looking designs that fooled people into thinking Mother Nature was at work. Market towns grew up and the aristocracy began leaving their country houses to come to town for their social life.
7. The Industrial Revolution (14 July 2006)
The industrial revolution not only changed the face of Britain, it changed the world.
For the first time, buildings were constructed just for 'work' and vast cities and slums were created. Factories and workhouses brought a look, sound and smell like nothing before them.
In the countryside where medieval technology of water mills changed to steam power derived from coal, the rural idylls built around mills and streams ended. Canals to carry the coal barges were dug, snaking through the countryside from the factories to the ports. The age of steam also brought the railway and travel was no longer the sole preserve of the wealthy.
8. Modernism (The Modern Age) (21 July 2006)
Historian Simon Thurley concludes this fascinating series with a look at 20th century architecture. The horrors of World War I stimulated a design revolution that turned its back on history and tradition and went instead for simplicity and functionality.
The modernists 'intellectualised' building, indicating that if you lived in a house like this, your life would be better.
World War II gave the architectural brutalists an opportunity to demonstrate on a massive scale as German bombing destruction demanded widespread rebuilding of British centres. But ugly high-density towers and modernist structures were clumsy and unworkable solutions.
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