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 94 - The life and work of St Aelred of Rievaulx

We’re joined in the studio by senior properties historian Dr Michael Carter and interpretation assistant Nick Collinson to discover the story of the most important churchman in 12th century England. At the time of his death in 1167, Aelred of Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire was immediately regarded as a saint. During his life, he accomplished many things, serving as a royal steward, an emissary to the Pope and abbot of Rievaulx, as well as demonstrating his talent as an author, preacher and spiritual mentor to his monks. And today, as we will discover, he is also starting to be considered a medieval gay icon.

Learn more about Rievaulx Abbey. 

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Episode 93 - Superstition, magic and the Evil Eye in the Roman world

This week, we’re joined by curator of collections Cameron Moffett and curator of collections (Hadrian’s Wall & the North East) Frances McIntosh to discover what we know about the Romans’ beliefs in magic, superstitions and the ‘Evil Eye’. And we’ll look at the evidence for these at English Heritage sites, including the discovery of some rather surprising objects thought to protect the holder against bad luck. 

Read more about Hadrian’s Wall. 

Discover more about Wroxeter Roman City. 

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Episode 92 - Time to change: The history of our calendar

As many of us prepare to hang up a new calendar for the year ahead, we’re joined by Professor Robert Poole to reveal the surprising history of our calendar. Discover how Britain switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century, why the change was necessary to catch up with most of Europe, and the truth behind the 'calendar riots' of 1752. We’ll also discuss the problem with Easter and how the changes continue to affect us today.

Read more about Lord Chesterfield, who introduced the legislation to switch to the Gregorian calendar while living at Ranger’s House in London. 

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Episode 91 - The pagan winter customs that shaped Christmas

This week we’re joined by English Heritage trustee Professor Ronald Hutton to discuss the pagan winter customs behind the Christmas traditions we take for granted today. Discover the ancient origins of winter feasting, Christmas carols, present giving, kissing under the mistletoe and more! 

Read about the history of Christmas. 

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All Episodes

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