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Tudor Monastery Farm

Series 1

Episode 5

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold explore hospitality in Tudor England. With no provision for the poor from the state, the monasteries played a key role in providing welfare and charity for those in need. But funding charity also meant extending hospitality to wealthy donors.

The monastery enlists the help of the team to restore a corrody room which would have been granted to an elderly worker as a form of pension. The room needs a new floor so the boys gather and roast limestone in order to make lime putty. Ruth is in charge of the home comforts and harvests rushes from the river to make a mattress.

The Abbot is planning a big feast to entertain a patron - a good way to encourage the wealthier members of society to make large donations. In preparation, Ruth sets about tackling the monastery's laundry, before taking on the cooking preparations.

Tom oversees the production of a book to give the patron as a gift. First he must learn how to make linen paper. He then experiences an exciting new technology - the printing press with moveable type - before embarking on the final stage of the process, book-binding.

Back on the farm the cows are short of food so Peter goes in search of tree hay - an ingenious form of fodder that pre-dates grass hay by millennia. The team reunites to bring in the pea harvest, their most successful crop yet.

The final preparations for the Abbot's feast are made, with Ruth lending a hand in the kitchen to produce some lavish dishes for the Abbot's table, while Peter distils wine into brandy. There's also a lesson in Tudor etiquette for Tom and Peter before the feast is served. Show less

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