Watch Michael Wood's Story Of England Online - Full Episodes
Michael David Wood is an English historian and local broadcaster who was born and raised in Moston, Manchester. He wanted to tell the history of England but not from the royalty, rulers or dictators point of view; instead it is from the average citizen's point of view. Michael Wood's Story of England manages to tell the entire history of the country through the small village of Kibworth, Leicestershire.
Located just south-east of Leicester, this village is a perfect representation of England just in miniature form. Kibworth actually had its first settlers as far back as 1066 but there were no documents or factual evidence to prove this. With the help of archaeologists from Cambridge, and Leicester University, many successful digs found evidence that dates back to the Middle Ages. Artifacts include Roman shards, early Anglo-Saxon pottery and portions of Georgian inns.
Kibworth Harcourt or the northern parts of the old parish actually had records that were kept by Merton College in Oxford and many of these original records date back over 750 years ago. Not only do these rare records include maps and surveys but they also include court records and even rent receipts from 1477. Kibworth Beauchamp or the southern part of the old parish plays an important role in the industrial history of the village. This includes the history of the canals, railways and factories, which played an important role in the Industrial Revolution.
Michael Wood's History of England goes back into the 14th century when the peasants set up the first school for their children, the worst famine in history and their part in the Lollard uprising against Henry V. It explores how the village rebuilt after two-thirds of the villagers was taken by the Black Death and the Nonconformist Academy that was home to anti-slave writer Anna Laetitia Barbauld. It takes the viewer through all the vital parts of England's history from the Civil War of Simon de Montfort to D-Day in a personal yet historical manner.