In Lancashire, a Victorian oak pedestal desk can hide a multitude of secrets – and so can the home it was originally bought for.
This is the premise of Britain’s Secret Homes, a new four part series commissioned by ITV. Made in partnership with English Heritage, with contributions from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Historic Scotland and Cadw, the Welsh historic environment service, the series unveils the stories behind 50 of the UK’s least explored but most fascinating houses.
When people visit a stately home near the Ribble Valley, the Victorian dining chairs and antique cabinets are as well researched as the house itself. Yet all across Britain, there are secret homes with equally fascinating tales to tell, totally unknown to the general public. They range from humble Victorian terraces to grand country manors, but behind each door are tales of tragedy, intrigue, romance and high drama, many taking place at pivotal moments of history. In Britain’s Secret Homes, journalist Michael Buerk and historian Bettany Hughes look inside these enigmatic buildings, using dramatic reconstructions, CGI graphics and archive research to bring the past back to life. The four one hour episodes will be screened in the summer along with a second series of Britain’s Secret Treasures, another collaboration between Buerk and Hughes that was first screened last July.
Simon Thurley, CEO of English Heritage, said:
“This series will be an exciting journey, literally a doorway to the past.”
Buying a Victorian oak partners desk from a Lancashire antiques dealer represents a similar journey; no one can guess what secrets line its well-used drawers.
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