show episodes
 
Neil takes you with him on an unforgettable journey, from your lockdown couch to the history beneath your feet - walking in the footsteps of our ancestors to discover what made them tick and how they made us who we are today. Check out, Neil’s Video Podcasts on his Patreon site - Neil Oliver. The series Instagram account – Neil Oliver Love Letter And send any questions to – neiloliverpodcast@gmail.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
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show series
 
This week Neil steps into the middle of a brutal family feud - the Wars of the Roses. The warring family, the Plantagenets, have been described as ‘a race dipped in their own blood. The factions within the family and their unremitting quest for power and the English throne led to a civil-war that ripped England apart for 30 years and left tens of t…
 
This week Neil comes face to face with the mighty walls of an almost impregnable castle, which down through its history inspired many heroic ‘last stands’ and a song that famously features in one of Neil's favourite films. On the orders of Edward I, Harlech castle was built between 1283 and 1285 by James of St George a military engineer of unsurpas…
 
This week Neil steps foot into Cambuskenneth Abbey, a place that was to prove crucial in the making of a legendary king - Robert the Bruce. The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 was a defining moment in the long Wars of Scottish Independence. Overlooked by the mighty Stirling castle, which sits atop the crag and tail of an extinct volcano, is a low-lyi…
 
This week Neil’s journey takes us to one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland where we discover, what is believed to be, the oldest living thing in Europe - the Fortingall Yew. The legendary Fortingall Yew nestles at the eastern end of Glen Lyon – the glen which Sir Walter Scott called the ‘longest, loneliest and loveliest in Scotland’. Many exp…
 
This week Neil takes us to a place of legends, a place where, with a glint in his eye, he proudly tells us he was once the warm-up act to Bono and U2 on the Pyramid stage. Glastonbury Tor is a magical landscape shimmering with ancient traditions, beauty and horrors. It’s a place that has always been, and still feels ‘special, the air around it thic…
 
This week we travel with Neil to Angus where the glowing red eye of Arbroath Abbey casts a watchful look over us. It was here at the Abbey in 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath was written, a revolutionary document whose words would resonate around the world. Drafted as a declaration of Scottish independence and a show of support for the celebra…
 
This week Neil takes us off the beaten track to St Nectan’s Glen in Cornwall. It’s one of a number of enchanted places that are dotted all over the British Isles, which have a real aura and presence around them. Shimmering with crystal clear waters and enclosed by cliffs coated with rich moss and ferns it’s a place that somehow manages to stop you …
 
This week Neil travels to an island at the heart of the British Isles. Snaefell is the highest mountain on the Isle of Man. On a clear day, from it’s peak, they say you can spin 360 degrees and see seven Kingdoms. The Isle of Man is at the geographical centre of the British Isles archipelago, but it’s a place apart. A constitutional anomaly that’s …
 
This week, Neil travels to see an iconic document that shook the world. In 1215 a battling king squared up to his rebellious barons in a power struggle produced Magna Carta and a new political order. A charter of rights that started to pin back the monarchy, Magna Carta declared not even a king is above the law. Never again would an English monarch…
 
This week Neil travels back in time, almost 1000 years, to what became the city of Durham and the construction of a majestic building whose beauty and power have resonated down through the centuries ever since – Durham cathedral. Our ancestors have always been driven by the need to build. In the years following the turn of the first millennium a gr…
 
This week Neil’s journey takes us in search of the battle whose ferocity, violence and savagery shocked the whole of the British Isles and shaped its borders for ever – the battle of Brunanburh. The repercussions from this momentous battle, fought in AD 937, have reverberated right up to the present day. Long remembered as the Great War this was th…
 
This week Neil takes us in search of the remains of one the greatest Kings ever to reign in the British Isles. Not far from Winchester’s city centre, in amongst modern residential streets, Neil is on the trail of the location where Alfred the Great’s bones were buried. Alfred the Great took on the Vikings and won. On the field of battle he was a br…
 
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