The BEST Episodes of Cranford

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Network: BBC One

This historical five-part show based on three of Elizabeth Gaskell's novellas is brought to the BBC with an all-star cast including Judi Dench. The story follows the lives and loves of the inhabitants of the northern market town over a year in the mid 1800s. Amongst other things the arrival of a new doctor and the ever-encroaching railway provide the townsfolk with plenty to get excited about.

Watch Now
October 1844

#1 - October 1844

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 26, 2009

Defying his father, William finds a job with Captain Brown working on the railway that is making its way into the heart of Cranford. Meanwhile, Harry disappears from school. The ladies have high expectations of the pending visit of Lady Glenmire, but all does not go to plan. As Peggy and William are separated, a surprise wedding causes a fracture in friendships and, when tragedy strikes, Miss Matty feels she is to blame and fears that Cranford will never recover.

star 8.95
77 votes
Directors: Simon Curtis
May 1843, Miss Matty's Crisis

#2 - May 1843, Miss Matty's Crisis

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 16, 2007

Jem and Martha formalise their relationship, and live as lodgers with Miss Matty, who has fallen on hard times. Will her friends come to her aid and will she accept help? Dr Harrison is advised to leave town due to his reputation being in tatters, but Sophy is ill and his modern medicine could help. Lady Ludlow is prepared to lose everything for her absent son, but Mr Carter tries to find another solution.

star 8.94
129 votes
August 1844

#3 - August 1844

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Dec 20, 2009

Miss Matty's house is full of life and bustle. Her dream of having a child in the house has been realised with the birth of Tilly, daughter of her maid Martha and carpenter Jem. Elsewhere, the shadow of the railway still looms, but the line has been halted five miles outside Cranford - a disaster for the town, in Captain Brown's view. As Lady Ludlow waits for her son Septimus to return from Italy, Harry Gregson is sent away to school. Meanwhile, as Mr Buxton returns to town with his son, William, and his niece, Erminia, Miss Matty becomes concerned about another young person - Peggy Bell - who lives in an isolated cottage with her mother and domineering brother, Edward. Miss Matty decides to intervene and engineers an invitation that will bring the four young people together.

star 8.42
112 votes
Directors: Simon Curtis
November 1842, Winter Approaches Cranford

#4 - November 1842, Winter Approaches Cranford

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 2, 2007

The theft of a leg of mutton starts a chain of events that can only lead to trouble for one family in Cranford. With Christmas comes an invitation for Miss Matty, that she is encouraged to accept. Dr Harrison's friend Jack persuades him to declare his affections for Sophy, but then plays a cruel trick.

star 8.20
142 votes
August 1842, Miss Matty is Shaken

#5 - August 1842, Miss Matty is Shaken

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 25, 2007

An unexpected visitor shakes miss Matty, but she keeps it to herself. The rumor that the railway will reach the town ruins the happy atmosphere. When Miss Deborah goes to talk to Captain Brown of this, he is of no help, indeed their friendship is severely strained.

star 7.85
145 votes
April 1843, Dr Harrison Visits the Rectory

#6 - April 1843, Dr Harrison Visits the Rectory

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 9, 2007

Miss Matty suffers a disappointment, and reveals to Mary the great wrong done her as a young woman. Mary writes to Major Gordon about Jessie's changed circumstances. And Dr Harrison pays a formal visit to the rectory.

star 7.78
107 votes
June 1842

#7 - June 1842

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 18, 2007

The town of Cranford is in a flurry at the arrival of a new handsome doctor. His controversial treatment of an unfortunate carpenter is risky not only for the patient, but also his reputation. Elsewhere a family suffers a loss but forges a friendship.

star 7.48
199 votes
Directors: Simon Curtis
Writers: Heidi Thomas