125 Treasures podcast series

Close up of Waddesdon's Elephant Automaton

Join actress Alison Steadman as she delves into the extraordinary stories behind some of Britain’s most fascinating objects.

The podcast series launches on 3 May 2021. Subscribe or follow on:

Artwork for the 125 Treasures podcast series

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This podcast series takes an in-depth look at five fascinating historical objects from our collections. From handcrafted tapestries to an ornate elephant automaton, each episode unveils hidden stories about these treasures and the people who collected them.

125 Treasures podcast trailer

The elephant automaton at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

1. The elephant in the room 

Delve into the history of this ingenious automaton device that wowed the influential and the rich. Discover how it journeyed around the world before becoming the centrepiece of glittering parties at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

1. The elephant in the room

Hambletonian at Mount Stewart, County Down

2. The horse on the staircase 

In this episode we explore the story behind 'Hambletonian - Rubbing Down', from the collection at Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland. Listen in as we take a closer look at the story of a famous racehorse, and uncover hidden symbolism that led to a court case.

2. The horse on the staircase

Close up of the Philae obelisk at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

3. The needle on the lawn

The Philae Obelisk is often called the 'jewel in the crown' of the incredible collection of Egyptian artefacts at Kingston Lacy in Dorset. In this episode we discover how it held the key to unravelling a mystery that had perplexed society, and scholars, for hundreds of years.

3. The needle on the lawn

The portrait of Virginia Woolf at Monks House, Sussex

4. The writer on the wall

Take a closer look at the portrait of Virgina Woolf hanging in the dining room at Monk’s House in East Sussex, which speaks of an incredibly close bond between two influential sisters whose desire for change has shaped art and literature to this day.

4. The writer on the wall

The Penelope tapestry from Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

5. The women in the hallway

In an era dominated by men, Bess of Hardwick managed to carve out space for herself and amassed a fortune rivalled only by royalty. She collected and commissioned many precious works of art and textiles, including a set of tapestries that embody the spirit of the woman she was.

5. The women in the hallway

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