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Dan Snow’s Norman Walks

Monday, August 16th, 2010

From bbc.co.uk:
Yorkshire – the Northern Abbeys
10.00pm Wednesday 18th August 2010 BBC4
1.30am Thursday 19th August 2010 BBC4
3.30am Thursday 19th August 2010 BBC4
11.30pm Thursday 19th August 2010 BBC4

As part of the BBC’s Norman season, historian Dan Snow puts his walking boots on and sets off to see what the great British landscape can teach us about our Norman predecessors. From their violent arrival on these shores, to their most sustaining legacies, Dan’s three walks follow an evolutionary path through the Normans’ era from invasion, to conquest, to successful rule and colonization.

On the Sussex coast, along the Welsh border and on the edge of the North York Moors, Dan explores the landscape and whatever evidence might remain – earthmounds, changing coastlines, viewpoints, and the giant stone castles and buildings that were the great symbol of Norman rule. All these elements offer clues as to how the Norman elite were ultimately able to dominate and rule our Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

As Dan discovers, there are a great many unknowns about events in 1066 and thereafter. But one thing is clear – wherever they went, the varied British landscape and its diverse people offered a fresh challenge to the Normans.

Dan’s final walk takes him north, to lands brutally devastated by the Normans four years after the Invasion. But the genocide of the Harrying of the North campaign was the final act that brought the whole of England under Norman control. The walk explores how the area became the setting for one of the Normans’ greatest legacies – the abbeys and monasteries of northern England.

From Helmsley Castle to Rievaulx Abbey, Dan investigates how one local lord established an institution that would revolutionise the community and commerce of the moors. With numerous similar abbeys the ambitious Normans would create a new era that defined northern England throughout the Middle Ages.
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Dan Snow’s Norman Walks

Friday, August 6th, 2010

From bbc.co.uk:
Herefordshire & Monmouthshire: The March of Wales
10.00pm Wednesday 11th August 2010 BBC4
1.00am Thursday 12th August 2010 BBC4
4.00am Thursday 12th August 2010 BBC4

As part of the BBC’s Norman season, historian Dan Snow puts his walking boots on and sets off to see what the great British landscape can teach us about our Norman predecessors. From their violent arrival on these shores, to their most sustaining legacies, Dan’s three walks follow an evolutionary path through the Normans’ era from invasion, to conquest, to successful rule and colonization.

On the Sussex coast, along the Welsh border and on the edge of the North York Moors, Dan explores the landscape and whatever evidence might remain; earthmounds, changing coastlines, viewpoints, and of course the giant stone castles and buildings that were the great symbol of Norman rule. All these elements offer clues as to how the Norman elite were ultimately able to dominate and rule our Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

As Dan discovers, there are a great many unknowns about events in 1066 and thereafter. But one thing is clear – wherever they went, the varied British landscape and its diverse people offered a fresh challenge to the Normans.

Dan’s second walk explores what the invaders did next, as they aimed to cement their rule across a diverse nation. Despite William the Conqueror being confirmed as king, the Normans had only completed stage one of their colonization, and few areas were as unstable as the Welsh borders. Challenging topography and a multitude of local chieftains made for an uncivilized region and Dan’s walk around the Monnow river system is dominated by the motte and bailey castles that sprang up throughout the Norman era. These were the handiwork of ambitious barons who made their mark on the ‘march’ – a border zone from which the Normans pushed their influence west into Wales and Ireland. Dan’s very rural walk is still touched by the agriculture, forests and common ground established by the Normans, and he discovers that one of the present-day landowning families has held its lands for almost a thousand years.
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Dan Snow’s Norman Walks

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

From bbc.co.uk:

Sussex: The Invasion Walk
10.00pm Wednesday 4th August 2010 BBC4
3.50am Thursday 5th August 2010 BBC4
11.20pm Thursday 5th August 2010 BBC4

As part of the BBC’s Norman season, historian Dan Snow puts his walking boots on and sets off to see what the great British landscape can teach us about our Norman predecessors. From their violent arrival on these shores, to their most sustaining legacies, Dan’s three walks follow an evolutionary path through the Normans’ era from invasion, to conquest, to successful rule and colonization.
On the Sussex coast, along the Welsh border and on the edge of the North York Moors, Dan explores the landscape and whatever evidence might remain; earthmounds, changing coastlines, viewpoints, and of course the giant stone castles and buildings that were the great symbol of Norman rule. All these elements offer clues as to how the Norman elite were ultimately able to dominate and rule our Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

As Dan discovers, there are a great many unknowns about events in 1066 and thereafter. But one thing is clear – wherever they went, the varied British landscape and its diverse people offered a fresh challenge to the Normans.
The exploration begins on the Sussex coastline, on the cliffs overlooking the Channel where William the Conqueror and his army first encountered British soil in the run-up to Hastings. But whilst the end result of William’s invasion is in no doubt, how much do we really know about events leading up to the Battle?

From Hastings to the town of Battle, Dan’s first walk traces events in the two week period between the Norman landings and the battle itself. By exploring the coastline and investigating what the opposing armies did for two weeks, Dan begins to satisfy his curiosity about why the battle took place when and where it did.
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Norman Walks on tonight

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Been a bit lax in updating the site due to life and stuff over the last couple of months, but Dan will be on BBC4 tonight at 10pm with his “Dan Snow’s Norman Walks”.

From Radiotimes.com:

Sussex – The Invasion Walk
New series. Dan Snow begins his exploration on foot through the remains of Norman Britain on the Sussex coastline, where William the Conqueror first set foot on British soil in the run-up to the Battle of Hastings. The historian traces the period of time from the landings to the armed confrontation itself, speculating about what both armies did during those two weeks, and tries to separate myth from fact concerning one of the most famous dates of British history. Part of the Normans season.

Some interesting related links for you:

Norman Walks

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

As part of this summer’s Norman season on BBC2, BBC4 and BBC Learning it looks like Dan will be visiting Norman landmarks around Britain.

From the BBC programme page:

Dan Snow uncovers the ‘forgotten’ Norman Empire. The series follows Dan as he encounters local residents, compelling landscapes and fellow travellers along the way.

From the BBC Press Office:

In Norman Walks, Dan Snow uncovers the “forgotten” Norman Empire – one that has been largely overlooked but which laid the foundation for modern Britain. Each episode takes in prominent Norman landmarks and features a mixture of aerial archive and bespoke filming via helicopter.