History of Britain - Rulers & Ruled


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5.Peasants Revolt

An exploration of the role of the peasantry in medieval political life, and of the dramatic events of the year 1381. (8.75 mins)

6.The Pastons
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iconChapter Breakdown

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1. The attack on Cressing Temple in Essex: the start of the Peasants Revolt.
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2. A protest about taxation soon becomes something more. The peasants question their powerlessness.
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3. Long term causes: peasants empowered in the labour shortage that followed the Black Death.
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4. The peasants march on London - and confront the boy king Richard II at Blackheath.
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5. The final showdown at Smithfield... and the aftermath.

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iconLocation details


The first half of the module was shot at Cressing Temple, a medieval moated farmstead in Essex, which is worth a visit. The two 13th century barns, built by the Knights Templar, are truly impressive. And there's a charming 16th century 'paradise garden'.


The rest of the story was shot in London, at the Tower of London and Smithfield Meat Market.

(If you're anywhere near Smithfield, pop into St Bartholemew's Church - without question the finest Norman church in London).


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