The BEST episodes of Cranford

Every episode of Cranford ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Cranford!

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.

Last Updated: 2/24/2024Network: BBC OneStatus: Ended
May 1843
131 votes

#1 - May 1843

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 12/16/2007

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.

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Episode 2
75 votes

#2 - Episode 2

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 12/26/2009

Defying his father, William finds a job with Captain Brown working on the railway making its way into the heart of Cranford. Meanwhile, Harry disappears from school.

Directors: Simon Curtis
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Episode 1
110 votes

#3 - Episode 1

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 12/20/2009

Miss Matty becomes concerned about an isolated youngster as Mr Buxton returns to town, and the shadow of the railway looms over Cranford.

Directors: Simon Curtis
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November 1842
140 votes

#4 - November 1842

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 12/2/2007

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.

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August 1842
144 votes

#5 - August 1842

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/25/2007

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.

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April 1843
105 votes

#6 - April 1843

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 12/9/2007

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.

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June 1842
190 votes

#7 - June 1842

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/18/2007

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.

Directors: Simon Curtis
Writer: Heidi Thomas
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