People's Landscapes podcast series presented by John Sergeant

Caryl Parry Jones and the National Trust's podcast team at Penrhyn Castle

This four-part podcast series will transport you to a peaceful island, once overrun by Viking raiders, and reveal fascinating stories behind dramatic coastal landscapes with rich industrial pasts. The series explores four historic landscapes in our care: Penrhyn Castle in Wales; the Durham Coast; the Tin Coast in Cornwall; and Northey Island in Essex.

Our podcast presenters:

The lead presenter, radio journalist and broadcaster John Sergeant, who also made an appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, sheds light on the lesser-known stories about the connections between people and landscapes throughout the ages.

He will be joined by singer and songwriter Caryl Parry Jones, actor and writer of the BBC's Horrible Histories books and television series Terry Deary and Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, a lecturer in medieval history and literature at Durham University.

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Caryl Parry Jones at Penrhyn Castle

Listen to the People's Landscapes trailer

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Episode one
Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and our coastal projects manager Daniel Leggett explore Northey Island

A clash of cultures 

Formed thousands of years ago by a flood of water from a melting glacier and later occupied by Viking raiders, Northey Island is a place full of fascinating stories. In this episode, Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough explores how a violent land grab between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons resulted in a mashup of cultures, which can still be seen today.

Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and our coastal projects manager Daniel Leggett explore Northey Island

Episode one: A clash of cultures

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Episode two
Terry Deary and National Trust ranger Wayne Appleton on the beach at Easington

Episode two: The black beaches of Durham  

Terry Deary meets former miner Freddie Welsh, who sees treasure in the scraps leftover from the mining industry. In this episode we also explore how we've been working with local communities to preserve the beauty of the landscape and protect wildlife.

Terry Deary and National Trust ranger Wayne Appleton on the beach at Easington

Episode two: The black beaches of Durham

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Episode three
Caryl Parry Jones at Penrhyn Castle

Episode three: The castle on the hill 

Caryl Parry Jones gets a guided tour of Penrhyn Castle, which is full of incredible slate objects, the same material which generated a large fortune for Penrhyn's owners. This episode explores how poor working conditions endured by men working in the slate quarry led to a mass strike, which still provokes debate within the local community.

Tin Coast

Episode three: The castle on the hill

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Episode four
Tin Coast

Episode four: A tale of tin 

In the final episode of the series we visit the Tin Coast in Cornwall. We explore the geological events that threaded this stretch of coastline with tin and copper and the technological advancements that led to an army of workers excavating the metals from a warren of tunnels.

Tin Coast

Episode four: A tale of tin

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The stories of places that have shaped the nation 

We're telling these stories as part of our People's Landscapes programme, which explores how the places in our care became key landmarks in the fight for social change.

The programme was launched this year to mark the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, when over 10,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to ask for parliamentary reform. The crowds were attacked and approximately 18 people were killed, with over 700 injured.

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An archive image of the people marching in the 1932 Kinder Scout trespass overlaid onto a modern day image of the landscape

Discover more about People's Landscapes 

Learn more about the connections that many of our places have to protests, mass social movements and the development of the rights that we enjoy today. Discover the stories of our places and explore our year-long programme of events, installations and exhibitions.