SHA 2013: Kibworth, Leicestershire, and the Story of England

British blog readers will recall the BBC series Michael Wood’s Story of England, which was originally broadcast in 2010, and repeated at the end of last year. The series followed 2000 years of English history, through the lens of a typical English parish – which just happened to be Kibworth in Leicestershire, only a few miles from the University of Leicester, where SHA’s annual conference in 2013 will take place. Now American viewers will have a chance to watch the series on PBS, starting at 8pm on Tuesday 3rd July.

Michael Wood and Carenza Lewis with the residents of Kibworth

Historian and broadcaster Michael Wood introduces the series in this blog. Staff and students from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester University were involved in the making of the programme, working with residents to devise a community archaeology project to research and excavate sites in the parish. You can find out more about the Kibworth outreach programme here, and some of the results of the excavation, as well as interviews with Michael Wood and Leicester University’s Archaeology Outreach Officer Debbie Miles-Williams, were featured on the BBC Leicester website.

Kibworth’s interest in its history did not end with transmission; the residents of Kibworth (which comprises three villages; Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp, and Smeeton Westerby) have put together their own website, which looks back at the production of the BBC series and the parish’s history, and at contemporary events including celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the Olympic torch relay. An online museum will soon be available on the website.

Image: BBC