A list of documentaries covering British history, the Tudor Monarchs and life in Tudor England. Please let me know if you know of any other documentaries about the Tudors.

Digging For Britain

A four part BBC series presented by Dr Alice Roberts who follows a year of British Archaeology, joining up the results of digs and investigations throughout England.

The four parts cover Prehistory, The Romans, The Anglo-Saxons and The Tudors.

More information here:

Inside the Body of Henry VIII

Take a journey inside the body of England’s most notorious monarch: Henry VIII. A team of medical experts, biographers, and historians investigate what caused the great physical and mental changes in the king. Was it from diseases such as syphilis, diabetes or malaria? Or could his favorite sport, jousting, have sparked his medical problems? Experts study Henry’s childhood trauma and delve deeper into his lifestyle and adult injuries to better understand this powerful king’s body.

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Lost Gardens

This series unearths some of Britain’s best garden secrets.?Monty Don introduces a team of gardening experts, historians, landscape gardeners and designers who literally dig up and reconstruct the gardens and return them to their former glory.

In series 1, they unearth the oldest garden in the series, at Shelley Hall, Suffolk. It is a moated Tudor garden created in 1519 by Sir Philip Tilney. He was a member of an ancient knightly family and he became by marriage, a first cousin of Elizabeth I.

The Worst Jobs in History

A series of 6 programmes shown on Channel 4 covering the Worst Jobs in History from the Dark ages to the Victorians. Tony Robinson explores some of the worst royal jobs- very entertaining!

One programme focused on the Tudor Age.

Time Team

Time Team returns for its 16th series, travelling the country to investigate a wide range of archaeological sites of historical importance.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Four part series)

Four part series presented by David Starkey.

Through dramatic reconstructions and his own passionate narration, Dr David Starkey, the controversial Tudor historian, profiles the six women who married Henry Vlll.

Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant (Four part series)

Presenting a vivid four-part biography, Dr David Starkey goes inside the mind of Henry VIII. This is not the story of Henry and his six wives, but an unprecedented examination to find out how Prince Charming became Bluebeard, the English Stalin.

Castle in the Country- Series 3 (15 episodes dedicated to Burghley House)

A team of experts travel the country exploring the history and significance behind some of Britain’s grandest homes, including the lives of the people from the surrounding areas and their lifestyles.

John Craven and Nicki Chapman explore the treasures in and around the magnificent Burghley House in Lincolnshire.

The Supersizers

Restaurant critic Giles Coren and comedian Sue Perkins supersize their way through the cuisine of six different eras in Britain’s history.

The Supersizers go Elizabethan

Restaurant critic Giles Coren and writer and performer Sue Perkins spend a week going back to the food of Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare. Cooking for them at home is top chef Paul Merrett. Giles puts on his codpiece and Sue makes up like Queen Bess.

They discover the joys of sheep’s head decorated with offal, the dish that bleeds and leaping frog pie. Giles tries some cupping and Sue learns the lute. With so many exciting foods to try out from the New World, our intrepid Supersizers find out just how healthy the Elizabethan diet was.

The Suersizers go Medieval

In this programme, they go back to medieval England to live the life of a Lord and Lady in their country manor.

The Seven Ages of Britain

The story of Britain through its art and treasure.

The Tudor episode looks at the Tudors and spans from Henry VIII’s accession in 1509 to the first performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII exactly 100 years later.

David Dimbleby shows how the Tudors used art as an instrument of power and propaganda. Featuring a look at Henry VIII and the lavish, gilded tomb in Westminster Abbey he commissioned for his father; the epic Field of Cloth of Gold painting in Hampton Court made to celebrate his diplomatic triumph over the French; and the extraordinary patron-artist relationship he cultivated with Hans Holbein. Henry favoured blunt statements of power, but his daughter Elizabeth was more subtle.

Dimbleby’s journey also takes in the Reformation, the wreck of the Mary Rose, John White’s extraordinary watercolours of the New World, the mouthwatering Cheapside Hoard, the Spanish Armada, Henry VIII’s armour and Drake’s Drum.

How we built Britain (Six part television documentary)

A series of six documentaries produced by the BBC, written and presented by David Dimbleby. In the series Dimbleby visits some of Britain’s great historic buildings and examines their impact on Britain’s architectural and social history.

Elizabeth I (Documentary)

Amazon blurb:

Historian David Starkey charts the amazing story of Queen Elizabeth and her 40 year reign of England. After surviving a dangerous childhood and her treacherous relatives, Elizabeth showed incredible strength to prove that a woman could rule England. Through establishing a national church, overseeing international exploration and resisting the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth turned her country into a major European force. Never less than visually stimulating, this disc contains all four episodes from the television series.


4 series spanning from the Dark ages to the House of Windsor

Dr David Starkey’s complete history of the British Monarchy, which reveals the epic and bloody stories of our Kings and Queens and charts the course of the oldest surviving political institution in Europe.

History of Britain – Complete Series ?Simon Schama

The ABC shop blurb reads:

‘A History of Britain’ is a brilliant portrait of the British people – an epic series examining the growth of British civilization from the Neolithic days of Stonehenge to the dazzling era of Elizabeth I, through the turbulent civil wars of the seventeenth century to the rise of Imperialist England and its consequences in Britain of the twentieth century.

Written and presented by Professor of History at Columbia University, New York, Simon Schama, ‘A History of Britain’, is a lively and, at times, bloody tale of the birth of a nation told over 15 one-hour episodes. From the unimaginable horror of the ‘Black Death’, a pestilence so deadly that it killed half of Britain’s population, to the political manipulation of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Wolsey that brought about England’s break with Roman Catholicism. The fascinating final episode examines twentieth-century Britain, revealing a nation overwhelmed by the presence of history. Here Schama illuminates Britain’s struggle with an imperial past through the lives of two contrasting public figures – Winston Churchill and George Orwell – and their efforts to create a new national future.

Assisted by the glorious art and architecture of early England and vivid re-enactments of pivotal moments in the nation’s development, Simon Schama brings us history at its most engaging and entertaining. Presented in a superb six-disc DVD Digipack, with a bonus set of unique picture cards featuring stunning images from the series, A History of Britain on DVD also includes a fascinating range of Special Features including the inaugural BBC History Magazine lecture “Television and the Trouble with History’, Simon Schama interviews and biography, and bonus music options from the original score of the series.

Rated: PG?Duration: Approx. 940 mins.?2002

What the Tudors did for us

Adam Hart-Davis investigates how the inventions of the Tudors and Stuarts have benefited us today.

In search of Shakespeare (4 part series)

Amazon product description:

Complete four part series exploring the life of the world’s greatest and most famous writer. Presenter-led, mixing travel, adventure, live action interviews and specially shot documentary and live action sequences with the RSC on the road.

A history series – it focuses not on the plays, but on the history and sets the life of the poet in the extraordinary times in which he lived. We are introduced to the dark world of Queen Elizabeth’s police state – a time of surveillance, militarism and foreign wars. We are reminded that Shakespeare lived through the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the colonisation of the New World and the beginnings of British power in America. But most importantly Shakespeare also lived through England’s Cultural Revolution: an enforced split with the old medieval English spirit world which was to lead the English people into a brave new Protestant future. A split which defined Shakespeare’s life -and our modern world.

Running time: 240 mins approx.



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