When is the new series of A House Through Time?

By Guest, 12 March 2019 - 3:14pm

We take a look at this month’s top TV and radio for family historians, including A House Through TimeChurchill’s Secret Son and more

David Olusoga A House Through Time
Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga returns to our screens for the second series of A House Through Time, which focuses on Newcastle (Credit: Stuart Elliott for Twenty Twenty Productions)

Pick of the month

A House Through Time
Starts Monday 8 April, BBC Two

With a few exceptions, the homes we live in are second-hand, places where different people have come and gone over the decades. Once a house has stood for a couple of hundred years or more, there’s every chance that the genealogy of the people who lived there is as fascinating as family history.

Certainly, this proved to be the case when A House Through Time, based around a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in Liverpool, captured the public imagination early last year. Local archives reported an increase in footfall in the wake of the series.

This success made a second series inevitable and now it’s arrived on 25 March, centred on 5 Ravensworth Terrace in Newcastle upon Tyne.

If the location has shifted, much else remains the same. Once again, historian David Olusoga (of Black and British: A Forgotten History and Civilisations) is the series’ presenter. Once again, the home, which has grand fireplaces and generous proportions for a house in the city centre, dates back to the Georgian era.

As with Who Do You Think You Are?, research is key, with the house’s history traced through deeds and land registry documents, maps, newspaper archives and wills. The show also draws on the expertise of academics such as Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan of the University of Portsmouth, who specialises in historical interiors.

But it’s the personal stories that really seize our attention. We meet such figures as a lawyer bent on vengeance, a doctor caught up in a workhouse scandal and a noted marine biologist.

Not that all of the inhabitants we meet are so well to do. As with so many inner-city addresses, the desirability of Ravensworth Terrace has changed down the years, and at one time it was a street of lodging houses rather than a place for the professional classes.

Get more previews of this month's top TV in the April issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, on sale now


NOTE: This article was first published with the original broadcast date for this programme, 25 March. We apologise for the confusion.


Also showing

Churchill's Secret Son
Wednesday 20 March, 8pm, Yesterday

Brendan Bracken acted as an advisor to Winston Churchill for more than 30 years. So close was Bracken to Churchill that rumours swirled that Britain’s wartime minister of information was the prime minister’s illegitimate son. Whatever the truth – and there’s evidence that Bracken didn’t exactly do much to quell a notion that may well have amused Churchill – he is a fascinating figure at the centre of key events in 20th-century history.

Edwardian Britain in Colour
Available until February 2020, My5

This new Channel 5 series uses colourised archive footage to bring our Edwardian ancestors back to life. You can see everything from a fancy dress bicycle parade celebrating the coronation of Edward VII to the lives of mill and mine workers.

Skeletons of the Mary Rose: The New Evidence
Sunday 17 March, 8pm, Channel 4

In October 1982 the wreck of the Mary Rose, lost in a sea battle with the French in 1545, was raised from the Solent. Today Henry VIII’s flagship is on display in Portsmouth, yet she’s far more than just a tourist attraction. In the years since she was brought to the surface, researchers have been hard at work analysing what the ship’s remains can tell us about life in Tudor England.

This documentary traces some of the most recent work. DNA analysis reveals that those who served on the Mary Rose hailed not just from England, but from elsewhere in Europe and even North Africa – this was a multicultural and multiethnic crew. The documentary also features a genealogist who has tracked down the sailors’ descendants.

Black Watch Snipers
Friday 22 March, 9pm, PBS America

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada suffered more casualties than any other Canadian regiment. This feature-length docudrama tells the Black Watch’s story through the experiences of five men, members of a sniper platoon who participated in the liberation of Europe.

Available until Tuesday 9 April on BBC iPlayer

This beautiful documentary from director Paul Wright blends together archive footage of Britain’s rural traditions, creating a vision of a forgotten past.

Black Music in Europe
Starts Wednesday 27 March, 9am, BBC Radio 4

The second series of Black Music in Europe offers stories of black musicians who worked in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Geographically, it’s a series that takes listeners to Berlin, Cardiff, Paris and London.

It highlights the work of Nigerian composer Fela Sowande and calypso star Lord Kitchener, composer of London is the Place for Me. The presenter is the actor Clarke Peters, best-known for his turn as Detective Lester Freamon in The Wire.

The Invention of Britain
Available now on BBC Sounds

This four-part Radio 4 series tells the story of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - our borders, our peoples and the stories we tell ourselves.

Murder, Mystery and My Family
Starts Monday 25 March, BBC One

The family history series that investigates historic murders returns for a second series. Barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein re-investigate murder cases, and help the families of those involved find out whether their ancestors were wrongly convicted.

Spain's Lost Generations
Starts Monday 18 March, BBC Radio 4

Lucas Laursen meets some of the families of the thousands of political dissidents who disappeared during Spain's military dictatorship, and follows their quest to find out what happened to their relatives.


What are March's new online family history records?
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What are March's new online family history records?
previous news Article
How a DNA test revealed my Jewish ancestry
next news Article
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