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Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green

Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green
  • Episode: 

    6 of 8

  • Transmission: 

    Mon 02 Dec 2013
  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 8.30pm
  • Week: 

    Week 49 2013 : Sat 30 Nov - Fri 06 Dec
  • Channel: 

    ITV
Embargo: The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 26 November 2013.
 
In episode six, Robson looks at how the appeal of Northumberland's history and heritage is being adapted for the modern age. 
 
Robson’s first stop is Alnwick Castle, a major medieval stronghold and the ancestral home of the Percy Family. 
 
Like many castles all over Britain, this ancient fortress has had to find a new role and identity to survive in the modern day. 
 
One of the largest inhabited castles in Europe; Alnwick castle has been home to the Dukes and Earls of Northumberland since the 14th century.
 
These days it's equally well known for doubling as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies, making it one of the regions most popular tourist attractions. 
 
It’s here that Robson also learns about a different Harry, Harry Hotspur, one of Robson’s favourite Northumbrian heroes. 
 
A skilled warrior, Harry Hotspur spent most of his short life defending England from the Scots. Robson meets Alnwick Castle’s head archivist to find out more about the man behind the legend. 
 
As well as being home to one of Britain’s most important castles, Alnwick once boasted one of the country’s finest railway stations. Built in 1887, the station’s size and grandeur was designed to impress visiting royalty. 
 
Over time, the small market town found the station difficult to sustain. After lying dormant for twenty years, the building has been given a new life as one of the largest second hand bookshops in Britain, run by husband and wife team Stuart and Mary Manley. Stuart says: “One of our earliest customers came in and said ‘I’ll give it a month’. Twenty-two years later, we’re still here.”
 
The bookshop also saw a secret bit of history unearthed in 2001, after fifty years. The ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ poster was commissioned by the Ministry of Information as part of a set of propaganda posters in 1939. 
 
Found in a box bought at auction, the message from the poster has swept across the globe. Stuart says: “At the time of discovery, we had no idea it would become a worldwide icon. Now, we go to New York and see Keep Calm stuff all over the place and think ‘wow, we started that’. Amazing.”
 
Finally, Robson travels by helicopter to one of the region's newest landmarks, the giant land sculpture of Northumberlandia, known as The Lady Of The North, created using the waste rock from an opencast mine.
 
 
Series overview:
 
Actor Robson Green returns to his home turf for a new factual series, which sees him lead viewers through a unique and often overlooked part of Britain that remains close to his heart.
 
In Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green, Robson reveals why the county of his birth, to which he has recently returned to live, still remains for him a magical and mysterious ancient kingdom. 
 
Over eight episodes, Robson travels the length and breadth of this magical landscape by land, sea and air to see things he’s never seen before and discover a side of Northumberland that he never knew.
 
He immerses himself in many of the unique experiences the area has to offer, spending the night in one of the most remote spots in Britain, stargazing into the darkest skies in England and exploring the rich and deep history of a county which has its own flag, tartan and dialect. Not forgetting its iconic locations such as Holy Island and Hadrian’s Wall, which are key to the nation’s ancestral roots. 
 
Stretching from just north of Newcastle up to the Scottish border, Northumberland boasts more castles than any other county as well as vast expanses of unspoilt, rugged countryside, allowing Robson to encounter all walks of county life from a lord and lady to a shepherdess. 
 
As he reconnects with his homeland, Robson also sees it like never before and whether faced with sleeping in a lighthouse, or being attacked by birds in the wilderness, it’s not an experience he will be forgetting any time soon.