History at Home


Step into England’s story with our new weekly podcast. Join presenter Charles Rowe as we bring the history of our sites to life with news, views and expert interviews.

You can listen to our latest episodes below or scroll down for details of how to subscribe.

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Latest Episodes

Episode 78 - The Story of Dido Belle At Kenwood

We’re joined by Cathy Power and Sarah Murden to discuss the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of British naval officer Sir John Lindsay and an African woman named Maria Bell, who may have been a slave. Dido spent much of her life at Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath in North London where was raised by her great uncle, Lord Mansfield, who through the 1750s to 80s was the most powerful judge in England.

Click here to discover more about Dido Belle and Kenwood. 

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Episode 77 - What happened to England’s monks and nuns following the Dissolution of the Monasteries?

This week, we’ve returned to the turbulent Tudor period in which King Henry VIII imposed his will against the Pope through the Dissolution of the Monasteries. This saw the suppression of approximately 900 religious houses across England and Wales and the execution of around 200 members of the religious orders and laymen. Joining us to discuss how this religious revolution came about – and what happened to the thousands of displaced monks and nuns in its aftermath – is senior properties historian Michael Carter.

Click here to discover more about our monasteries and abbeys, and to plan a visit.

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Episode 76 - Finding the sarsen stones: A journey to Stonehenge

Following the publication of new research revealing where Stonehenge’s giant sarsen stones were extracted from, we’re heading out on the road to meet senior properties historian Susan Greaney to trace their journey to Salisbury Plain. Discover how Professor David Nash from Brighton University tracked the stones back to a specific location, how Stonehenge’s builders transported them and why the stones’ original location has eluded us for so long.

Click here to discover more about the history of Stonehenge or plan a visit. 

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Episode 75 - Border force: The defenders of the north

We’re joined by properties curator Mark Douglas to discover the stories of the English Heritage sites that played their part in defending England’s northern territories. Join us on an audio tour of the key defences through the ages, from Hadrian’s Wall to Carlisle, Norham, Berwick and Dunstanburgh Castles, and find out what happened to them during peacetime until war broke out across Europe.  

Click here to discover more about our collection of castles.


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Episode 74 - Murderous thieves and legendary buccaneers: Pirates of the English Channel

Scupper me skull and crossbones! This week, we’re casting off for an episode all about the history of piracy and, more specifically, the pirates of the English Channel. And while this might sound like an unlikely title for a film, history tells us that the waters between southern England and northern France were, in fact, a dangerous domain for cargo vessels for several centuries. Joining us to map out the history of piracy in English waters – and unmask its key figures – is senior properties historian Paul Pattison.

To read more about the pirates of the English Channel, click here.

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