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Bettany Hughes’s Ten Places, Europe and Us

A Society, Culture and History podcast
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Historian Bettany Hughes goes beyond the delights of teas and topiary to explore ten inspiring National Trust sites. Join Bettany as she travels around some of the most splendid sites in England, guided by our experts, to investigate their deep-rooted connections to Europe and the wider world.


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Recent Episodes

2 Willow Rd
Bettany takes a tour of 2 Willow Road in Hampstead with National Trust volunteer John Escolme. The house was built by Hungarian architect Ernö Goldfinger both as family home and manifesto of his Modernist ideals. Goldfinger is famous for designing Trellick Tower in West London to solve the post-war housing crisis. Despite its nadir in the 1970s when Trellick became known as ‘the tower of terror’, it’s now something of a cultural icon, although Erno never lived to see its rehabilitation. Bettany explores the way this remarkable tweed-wearing émigré brought the Bauhaus to Britain with Goldfinger’s biographer Nigel Warburton, and how at 2 Willow Rd, he paid homage to our Georgian architectural tradition in what is now considered to be a Modernist masterpiece. For more information about 2 Willow Rd, including opening times and dates, go to: For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Orford Ness
Bettany explores Orford Ness, a ten-mile long shingle spit off the coast of Suffolk, with site manager Grant Lohoar and wildlife expert Stewart Warrington. Access to Orford Ness was denied to the public during much of the 20th century, due to the top-secret nature of the work being undertaken here for the military. When the National Trust opened the site to the public in 1995, the management concerns of this area changed considerably and it is now protected as a fragile natural environment and a site of historical interest. Bettany examines the globally rare vegetated shingle spit, and visits the radar research station and the nuclear bomb testing labs, to observe how this mysterious wind-swept and remote island is slowly being reclaimed by nature. For more information about Orford Ness, including opening times and dates, go to: For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Upton House
Upton House in Warwickshire was one of four houses owned by Walter Samuel, the 2nd Lord Bearsted, who was one of the richest men in Britain before the Second World War. When he bought this estate in 1927 it satisfied all those favourite pre-war pursuits for the well-heeled British, but there is more to this house, and its former owner, than meets the eye. House manager Michelle Leake shows Bettany around Lord Bearsted’s notable art collection and uncovers more about the quiet philanthropist who lived by his own motto and put ‘deeds before words’. This is revealed in his incredible bid to rescue Jewish children from Nazi Germany, known today as the Kindertransport. Bettany has a moving meeting with Lynne Parsons, the daughter of one of the Kindertransport children whom Lord Bearsted helped to rescue. For more information about Upton House, including opening times and dates, go to: For information regarding your data privacy, visit
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Podcast Details
Oct 20th, 2016
Latest Episode
Dec 26th, 2016
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
20 minutes

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