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Time Team

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In this popular and (literally) groundbreaking programme, Tony Robinson and a team of experts travel the country to investigate a wide range of archaeological sites of historical importance

About the Show

In this popular and (literally) groundbreaking programme, Tony Robinson and a team of experts travel the country to investigate a wide range of archaeological sites of historical importance

Series 13 Summary

The 13th series includes the discovery of a monastic farm in Brimham and the excavation of a medieval castle on the Isle of Sheppey. The Team also unearth a Roman boat on the Rhine in Utrecht.

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    Episode 1 - The Bodies in the Shed, Northamptonshire

    Time Team visit Glendon Hall in Northamptonshire, where local resident Martin Hipwell uncovered a skeleton while building his mother a new house.

    Not just one skeleton, in fact, but a number of them, which appeared in an apparently regular sequence as he dug the foundations for his mother's new home.

    So what were they doing in outbuildings of a four-centuries-old English country house? And why did no one know they were there? As usual, Time Team have just three days to find out.

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    Episode 2 - Villas Out of Molehills, Withington, Gloucestershire

    Withington, in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, sits in an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and was once the home of a grand Roman villa.

    Time Team's interest in the site didn't stop with this villa. Large quantities of Roman tiles and tesserae (mosaic pieces) have been brought to the surface in recent years by mole activity, and local archaeologist Roger Box has called in the Team to investigate.

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    Episode 3 - Rubble at the Mill, Manchester

    It's only a little over two centuries ago that Richard Arkwright built his first factory for cotton manufacturing in what is now the centre of the city of Manchester.

    In doing so, he turned the city into the power house and driving force behind the new cotton industry.

    Built in 1780, today what is left of it lies buried beneath a car park. Time Team has three days to locate and investigate one of the most important historic sites in Britain.

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    Episode 4 - The First Tudor Palace? Esher, Surrey

    Penny Rainbow's house on the river Mole, in Esher, is unlike any other in Surrey's swish stockbroker belt. Now known as Wayneflete Tower, it is also sometimes referred to as Wolsey's Tower on account of the fact that Wolsey stayed there for a time after he was compelled to give Hampton Court to Henry VIII.

    Penny wanted to know what her palace would have looked like five centuries or so ago. Over three days Time Team pieced together the story of a site that evolved into one of the most stunning buildings of early Tudor times.

    Tony and the Team set about digging up her garden as they tried to identify what might remain of the palace, built towards the end of the Wars of the Roses for the fantastically wealthy bishops of Winchester.

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    Episode 5 - The Boat on the Rhine, Utrecht

    For this programme Time Team visited one of the biggest building sites in Europe to unearth a perfectly preserved Roman boat.

    The Team was invited by Dutch archaeologists to help rescue crucial evidence from a 35-metre-long barge that once transported goods along the Rhine. The river - the 'motorway of Roman Europe', as one of the Dutch experts described it - was the vital supply line between Roman Britain and the rest of the empire.

    This would be the last chance to investigate the boat before the bulldozers moved in. The boat itself would be preserved, but buried beneath a cycle route.

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    Episode 6 - Court of the Kentish King, Eastry, Kent

    Tony and the Team descended on the orchards of Kent to search for the site of the lost Anglo-Saxon palace of Eastry - and investigated not one but two likely contenders.

    One site seemed to have it all: lots of Saxon brooches discovered by metal detectorists, a prominent position on a hilltop, and what looks like the remains of three defensive ditches on aerial photographs.

    But a mile away the owner of Eastry Court, one of the oldest houses in England, believes that his gardens hold the remains of the palace.

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    Episode 7 - The Monks' Manor, Brimham, Yorkshire Dales

    Time Team travelto Brimham, in the Yorkshire Dales, to meet Chris and Barbara Bradley on their farm and solve a challenging archaeological jigsaw puzzle.

    There is evidence of at least 1000 years of farming on the land that now makes up Chris and Barbara's farm. The walls of the farm outbuildings are partially built with religious-looking masonry - some with Latin inscriptions - and the cows have uncovered what look like stone walls in the fields.

    Until Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, the land used to be owned by Fountains Abbey. So this was the starting point for a three-day investigation in which the Team attempt unearth a story of how Chris and Barbara's farm was once part of a rich, thriving religious order - contributing to one of the most powerful medieval monasteries in Britain.

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    Episode 8 - Castle in the Round, Queenborough, Kent

    On the mouth of the Thames, lie the remains of Queenborough Castle. With a royal name, and an equally regal history, this unprepossessing site hides some intriguing mysteries - buried, along with the building's remains, over centuries.

    Time Team travel to the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, to investigate the remains of the last royal castle to be built in the medieval period, in an effort to unlock some of its long-held secrets.

    The castle construction was ordered by Edward III during a lull in the Hundred Years War, but opinion is divided as to whether this was a defensive castle, designed to protect the Thames estuary, or a royal bolthole for the king to escape the plague.

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    Episode 9 - Sussex Ups and Downs, Blackpatch, Sussex

    One hot day in 1922, a young man called John Pull strolled across the Sussex downland at Blackpatch, just outside Worthing. He was the victim of a First World War gas attack and he had come there looking for fresh air and peace. What he discovered was one of the very few Stone Age settlements in England.

    John Pull wasn't an archaeologist or antiquarian but a 23-year-old gramophone salesman - which made him highly unpopular with the archaeological elite. His work was sneered at, his finds were lost, the site was bulldozed - and, in a tragic twist of fate, he was murdered in a bank robbery.

    Eighty years after Pull first set foot on this hill, Time Team came to reassess his work. Was this really the site of a prehistoric village? And what about a mysterious second site, which Pull recorded but had since been lost?

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    Episode 10 - Birthplace of the Confessor, Islip, Oxfordshire

    Time Team descended upon the sleepy Oxfordshire village of Islip - population about 600 - the birthplace of Edward the Confessor.

    The villagers of Islip had been celebrating the millennium of Edward's birth in the first years of the 11th century. They wanted Time Team to discover the location of a medieval chapel dedicated to their famous royal son - and possibly to find evidence of a reputed royal palace belonging to his father, Ethelred.

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    Episode 11 - Early Bath, Ffrith, North Wales

    Time Team travel to Ffrith, in Flintshire, north Wales, to try to find out more about the Roman remains that keep turning up in the village.

    A huge quantity of Roman finds and evidence of buildings have been discovered here over the past four centuries.

    The Team are most excited by an excavation that took place in the 1960s, which uncovered a number of walls. Their layout and other discoveries in the village suggested to the excavators that they were digging a substantial Roman building, possibly a bath house.

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    Episode 12 - Scotch Broth, Applecross, Near Skye

    Tony Robinson and the Team journey to the north west of Scotland for one of the toughest Time Team excavations ever.

    The Team had were invited to Applecross to excavate what was thought to be a broch, a monumental stone tower that was one of the largest Iron Age structures in Britain.

    Brochs, found only in Scotland, have a unique design of two massive circular stone walls, so they should be easy to spot. But this is Time Team and nothing is ever that simple.

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    Episode 13 - The Taxman's Tavern, Alfoldean, Sussex

    Tony Robinson and the Team travel to Alfoldean in Sussex to uncover a 'mansio' - an official Roman coaching inn. Located on Stane Street - now the A29 - the mansio was at the heart of a much larger community. Time Team ambitiously set out to uncover the story of the whole settlement.

    As trenches were opened over a 600-metre-square expanse of land, the archaeologists uncovered structures and finds suggesting that Alfoldean was once a thriving village, but that it suddenly fell out of use halfway through the Roman occupation of Britain.

    Atrocious weather and the sheer scale of the site pushed the Team's resources to the limit. But with the help of a local school's archaeology students and some heroic work by Phil Harding and the diggers, Time Team revealed some remarkable details of a settlement that exemplified Rome's ruthlessly efficient control of Britain's resources.

Time Team synopsis

In this popular and (literally) groundbreaking programme, Tony Robinson and a team of experts travel the country to investigate a wide range of archaeological sites of historical importance

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16 Series, 173 Episodes

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