Travel to Guédelon castle in France where a team of archaeologists, historians, and volunteers are building a medieval castle.
Using only 13th century medieval tools, the castle is set to be done within a 25 year old period while volunteers recreate a “real” medieval life while working on it.
During this five-part documentary series, we’ll join English historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold (the same team as in the Tudor Monastery Farm documentary) in their endeavours to learn about living in the medieval world and help build Guédelon castle.
Episode 1: Why Build A Castle?
The team arrives at Guédelon, in the Burgundy region of France, to join the world’s biggest archaeological experiment.
It’s a grand 25 year project to build a medieval castle from scratch, using only the tools and materials available in the 13th century.
What secrets does this medieval castle harbour for the team and what medieval historical revelations will they find?
Episode 2: Defending The Castle
Episode two takes a look at how they defended their castles in the medieval times.
Ruth, Peter and Tom look at the ingenious features medieval castle-builders came up with to withstand attack from an ever more formidable array of siege engines.
Episode 3: Inside the Castle
Working on the interior design of Guédelon castle, the team shows how surprisingly colorfull the insides of medieval castles usually were.
The castles that we see today are in fact scarred by centuries of decay. Most of their original roofs, carpentry and interior finishes have long since disappeared, but in their heyday they were lavishly decorated.
Episode 4: The Castle’s Community of Skills
The fourth episode delves deeper into the secrets of the skilled communities who built medieval castles.
The stonemasons working on the castle walls are dependent on blacksmiths, whose metalwork was magical to the medieval mind-set.
Episode 5: Beyond the Castle Walls
The fifth and final episodes sees our archaeologist team taking a look at Guédelon castle’s location compared to other castles in the medieval world.
13th century Europe was a busy, developing, connected place, where work, trade, pilgrimages and Crusades gave people the opportunity to travel across the continent and beyond.
- Release date2014
- Full runtime
- Director(s)Giulia Clark, Blythe Tinker
- Production companyLion Television