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Secrets of the Castle with Ruth, Peter and Tom

Episode 5

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two HD

As their time at Guedelon Castle in France draws to an end, the team look at the castle's place in the wider medieval world.

Thirteenth-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.

Peter visits Vezeley Abbey - from where Richard the Lionheart set off on the Third Crusade - to examine first-hand some of the influences that were shaping the stone architecture of the period. Back at Guedelon, he helps build an ornate entrance to the chapel, inspired by ideas from distant lands. Ruth looks at pilgrimage, the means by which anyone, regardless of class, age or gender, could travel afar.

Tom works on a new door for the castle kitchen, vital for protecting all the valuable spices kept inside (some worth more than gold), and Ruth makes an exotic treat from eastern luxuries. She also explores the textiles trade, colouring silk with expensive handmade dyes, making gold thread, and bringing them together to create immaculate embroidery, one of the few tradecrafts where women were the boss.

The team come together to help construct one of the castle's most ambitious projects to date, the spectacular limestone window for the chapel. They stand on top of the tower as the keystone is eased into place - it's the perfect spot to end their medieval adventure. Show less


Ruth Goodman
Peter Ginn
Tom Pinfold
Executive Producer:
David Upshal
Giulia Clark
Giulia Clark
Production Company:
Lion Television Scotland

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