The Best Episodes of Time Team

Normanton, Lincolnshire - An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery

#1 - Normanton, Lincolnshire - An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery 8.67

Season 8 - Episode 1

On the surface it looks just like any other large Lincolnshire field. But when a pipe was laid across it a couple of years previously the trench dug then revealed a number of shallow graves. An exploratory dig in 1998 identified them as Anglo-Saxon – on a site which also threw up large quantities of Roman remains. An earlier water pipe, laid in 1954, had uncovered a lot of Roman pottery here too. So what did it all indicate? And what could Time Team learn about this possible Anglo-Saxon cemetery and former Roman settlement in the three days available?.

Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent - Wedgwood's First Factory

#2 - Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent - Wedgwood's First Factory 8.57

Season 6 - Episode 1

Everyone knows the name of Wedgwood when it comes to pottery, and this is what they have in mind, this blue and white design, it’s famous throughout the world. But few people know that it was here in Burslem on the outskirts of Stoke-On-Trent, that Josiah Wedgwood’s climb to fame and fortune first began. This is actually the site of his first factory, which was at the heart of the pottery industry when it took off in the eighteenth century, but does any of it remain under the paving stones of present day Burslem.

Lambeth Palace, London - The Archbishop's Back Garden

#3 - Lambeth Palace, London - The Archbishop's Back Garden 8.56

Season 2 - Episode 4

The Archbishop's Back Garden. Historically it was believed that the original Roman road into London veered east and crossed the river at Tower Bridge, placing the original site for the Roman capital of Londinium in the financial centre of the modern day city. But 60 years ago an amateur archaeologist, Bernard Davis, upset the status quo when he excavated what he believed to be the remains of the first Roman road into London - in the gardens at Lambeth Palace. Yet the existence of the road has never been verified and the site left unexplored. The Time Team have just three days to try and relocate Bernard Davis' Roman road and solve some of the fascinating questions its discovery poses. Did the first road the Romans built into London really cross the river at Lambeth rather than Tower Bridge and if so, does this mean that Lambeth, and not the City, was the site of the original Roman settlement?

Glendon Hall, Northants - The Bodies In The Shed

#4 - Glendon Hall, Northants - The Bodies In The Shed 8.50

Season 13 - Episode 1

The Bodies in the Shed - Glendon's lost graveyard. Tony and the team return for a new series, visiting Glendon Hall in Northamptonshire to unravel the mystery of the human skeletons found under an outbuilding. In November 2004 Martin Hipwell was working in the garden converting a Victorian brick shed. He had to stop rather suddenly because as he dug up the old floors he came across a whole host of human skeletons. He contacted the local unit, Northampton Archaeology, who revealed 11 burials inside one of the buildings. They removed seven sets of human remains. But in another barn the builders discovered yet more remains. They left these undisturbed and Martin got in touch with Time Team. Before Martin carried on his building work he wanted to know who these people were and where they lived. All these burials were aligned east-to-west. They were closely packed and some had been buried on top of others. The density of the burials, the orientation and the lack of finds and gravestones suggested that these were the graves of medieval Christian peasants. Bone analysis indicates that these people suffered from lives of hard labour and poor nutrition. Could they have been inhabitants of the lost medieval village of Glendon? And what happened to Glendon's church dedicated to St Helen? Could the piles of old architectural stonework in the garden be a clue?

Turkdean, Gloucestershire - Roman villa

#5 - Turkdean, Gloucestershire - Roman villa 8.31

Season 5 - Episode 4

Tony Robinson and the team return to the site of a previous dig in 1998 which unearthed a Roman villa in the Cotswolds. They discover that the villa dates from the very first days of the Roman occupation. Amongst their new finds is an entire, untouched Roman water course.

Wierre-Effroy, France - One Of The First Spitfires Lost In France

#6 - Wierre-Effroy, France - One Of The First Spitfires Lost In France 8.30

Season 7 - Episode 3

One of the first spitfires lost in France. It was on 23 May 1940 that a young English pilot climbed into the cockpit of his Spitfire to join a formation of aircraft flying across the Channel to help defend troops retreating in the face of the Nazi advance. Paul Klipsch, aged 24, had never flown in a combat mission before; he was never to do so again. The young pilot was shot down over northern France. He had become one of the first of the 1,500 Royal Air Force pilots who were to give their lives during the early period of the Second World War. The RAF's combat report recorded simply that he had been 'Killed in Action'. The place where his plane came down, in a farmer's field outside the small French village of Wierre-Effroy, near Boulogne, has always been known. Two brothers, Auguste and René Mierlot, had seen it shot down by a Messerschmitt 110, at about 6pm that May evening. They remembered it well because half an hour later German troops entered their village. Despite the Nazi presence, local people retrieved Paul Klipsch's body from the remains of his aircraft and buried him in the village cemetery. His grave, now marked with an RAF headstone, remains there to this day. But while the time and place of this young pilot's death had long been known, we still knew little about how and why his Spitfire crashed. Time Team decided to see what could be revealed.

Groby, Leicestershire - House of the White Queen

#7 - Groby, Leicestershire - House of the White Queen 8.22

Season 18 - Episode 7

Groby Old Hall in Leicestershire was once home to the legendary White Queen: Elizabeth, the wife of Edward IV. The Team are here to help the new owners, who have saved the house from dereliction, to find out what has gone on in their garden over the centuries. It's full of tantalising glimpses of archaeology: a medieval wall with a window, carved stones and what looks like the remains of a Norman castle.

Rise Hill, Cumbria - Blood, Sweat and Beers

#8 - Rise Hill, Cumbria - Blood, Sweat and Beers 8.20

Season 16 - Episode 5

Time Team visits the Yorkshire Dales to investigate the Risehill camp settlement, inhabited by the Victorian railway navvies during the construction of the Settle-to-Carlisle railway On a wind- and rain-swept Yorkshire moor – 'the most exposed site Time Team has ever dug on,' according to Tony Robinson – lie the remains of a settlement built by a tough, nomadic community that existed on the very edge of society.

Reedham, Norfolk - Bombers in Reedham Marshes

#9 - Reedham, Norfolk - Bombers in Reedham Marshes 8.17

Season 6 - Episode 8

February the 21st 1944. 800 American bombers are returning from a raid on targets in Germany. It’s three o’clock in the afternoon, they’d been in the air for five hours and finally, they’ve left the last of the enemy fighters and flak batteries behind. Everyone relaxes as they pass over the Norfolk coast. Then... Tragedy. They were just minutes away from safety of their base when suddenly one of the bombers collided with another, and the two planes came plummeting down to earth somewhere round here in the Reedham Marshes. All 21 crewmembers were killed. So what exactly happened? We got just three days to try and shed some light on the mystery.We’re gonna be excavating one of the planes in the hope that its carcass may yield some clues if there’s any of it left, and we’re gonna try and find out as much as we can about the two crews and the events that led up to the crash.

Codnor Castle, Derbyshire - Gold In The Moat

#10 - Codnor Castle, Derbyshire - Gold In The Moat 8.10

Season 15 - Episode 1

The crumbling ruins of Codnor Castle are a sad remnant of the imposing home of the De Grey family - knights who saw action in almost every important medieval battle including the crusades and Agincourt. Today Codnor Castle lies in ruins and there's almost nothing known of how it looked in its prime. As the remains above ground get an overdue renovation, the Time Team risk the dangers of hidden mine shafts in the Derbyshire coalfields to dig into the heart of a building that once dominated the landscape to trace the castle's history. It lives up to the team's hopes as they strike gold with a 600-year-old gold noble coin as well as uncovering a huge round tower and, for the first time in the history of the programme, a drawbridge.

High Ham, Somerset - Romans on the Range

#11 - High Ham, Somerset - Romans on the Range 8.10

Season 18 - Episode 3

Tony and the Team get a unique opportunity to dig at an army firing range at High Ham in Somerset, and investigate a series of mosaics first discovered 150 years ago. The mosaics hint at a grand villa but as this part of Somerset has been in constant use by the army for the last century and a half, no one has ever had a chance to really see what's under the ground. To everyone's surprise the initial results suggest there's been more than one villa on this site. Over the following days a story emerges of the highs and lows of Roman life in Britain, from the grand rooms used for entertaining to the pitiful lives of the slaves who lived on the edge of this high society. The archaeology is impressive but the weather's not, and as the temperatures plummet the Team hold a crisis meeting. Could this be the first time in the programme's history that the conditions force the diggers to down tools?

Kenfig, Bridgend - Secrets of the Dunes

#12 - Kenfig, Bridgend - Secrets of the Dunes 8.07

Season 19 - Episode 8

Eight hundred years ago the people of Kenfig on the south coast of Wales thought they had built the perfect town, nestled round a harbour with easy access to the sea and a sheltered position. The town appears to have been a thriving commercial success but then it vanished, leaving just a few castle walls to mark its existence.

Tottiford Reservoir, Devon - Reservoir Rituals

#13 - Tottiford Reservoir, Devon - Reservoir Rituals 8.00

Season 18 - Episode 1

The first stone henge to be discovered in Britain for a century would be cause enough for major celebration. But there's double bubbles as Tony Robinson and his hardy team of archaeologists celebrate their 200th dig. The site is the bed of a Devon reservoir with a strange assortment of prehistoric remains. The reservoir has been specially drained, but the diggers still face three days of wading through thick, sticky mud as they piece together the story of thousands of years of rituals performed in this beautiful secret valley high up on Dartmoor. The Team slowly uncover a network of monuments that suggest they have found a major prehistoric site. But the best discovery is left until the last day when they unearth the remains of that stone henge. It's the perfect end to a milestone in the programme's history

Directors: Tony Lee
Westminster Abbey, London - Corridors of Power

#14 - Westminster Abbey, London - Corridors of Power 8.00

Season 17 - Episode 1

In the first episode of the new series, Tony Robinson, Professor Mick Aston and the Team investigate one of Britain's greatest historic landmarks: Westminster Abbey. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of Parliament Square, the archaeologists have three days to pin down the location of a lost sacristy, a stronghold that was built by Henry III almost 800 years ago and is said to have housed the biggest collection of treasure this side of the Alps. Under the watchful eye of the Abbey's clergy and numerous tourists, the diggers' attempts to find this important building are continually thwarted by the driving London rain and centuries of later building work.

Alderton, Northamptonshire - The Man Who Bought A Castle

#15 - Alderton, Northamptonshire - The Man Who Bought A Castle 8.00

Season 8 - Episode 2

A couple of years ago, local man Derek Batten was driving through the village of Alderton, near Northampton, when he was surprised to see a sign advertising a castle and moat for sale. He was intrigued because he didn't even know there was a castle in the area. He decided to find out more – and ended up buying what was believed to be the remains of a Norman castle, now almost completely covered by trees and vegetation. Unable to discover very much else about the site, he contacted Time Team. The Team's task was to find out who built it, when, and how much of it remains.

Llangorse, Powys - The Fortress in the Lake

#16 - Llangorse, Powys - The Fortress in the Lake 8.00

Season 1 - Episode 4

The Fortress in the Lake. In the Dark Ages, a powerful king decided to show how powerful he was and built a man made island in the middle of a lake and stuck a palace on top of it. Who was the king and who were the builders and what happened to them all? The time team visits the site of this Dark Age man-made island, known as a Crannog, in Llangorse Lake near Brecon in Wales.

Castor, Cambridgeshire - Under the Gravestones

#17 - Castor, Cambridgeshire - Under the Gravestones 8.00

Season 18 - Episode 6

The Team face one of their strangest challenges ever: digging through a church graveyard in search of what could be one of the largest Roman structures ever built in Britain. Tony Robinson and his band are here at the request of the Reverend William Burke, vicar of the historic St Kyneburgha's church in Castor, Cambridgeshire. Under very close supervision, the Team must dodge the thousands of burials in the graveyard to get to an ornate mosaic floor that was reportedly discovered almost 200 years ago. It could be the missing link in a village that is crammed with massive Roman walls and old reports of exquisite finds.

South Perrott, Dorset - The Puzzle Of Picket's Farm

#18 - South Perrott, Dorset - The Puzzle Of Picket's Farm 8.00

Season 12 - Episode 10

Thirty years ago the Legg family took over this farm in West Dorset, almost immediately they discovered that one end of this field was difficult to plough and they put it down to the stony soil. But then earlier this year Roman finds started to crop up all over the field. Roof tile, pottery, Roman coins, broaches, what’s going on? The Legg’s are itching to know. Is there a Roman building here that could account for their broken ploughs. Time Team’s got just three days to find out and let them know.

Norman Cross, Cambridgeshire - Death and Dominoes

#19 - Norman Cross, Cambridgeshire - Death and Dominoes 8.00

Season 17 - Episode 7

The Team visit Norman Cross in Cambridgeshire, a site that is over 200 years old and housed the world's first ever purpose-built prisoner of war camp. It has never before been excavated and the team are keen to unearth the final resting place of almost 2,000 prisoners who died at the camp, but what they discover takes them all by surprise.

Directors: Michael Douglas
Llygadwy, Wales - The Celtic Spring

#20 - Llygadwy, Wales - The Celtic Spring 7.99

Season 8 - Episode 3

In a secluded valley in Wales, what may be a medieval or even Roman trackway leads down to a natural spring. Right in the middle of it is a megalith, a large standing stone, perhaps 3,000 years older than the track. Nearby, there are the remains of what appears to be a Neolithic tomb, and overlooking it what is reputed locally to be a Norman – or maybe Roman – watchtower. Stones in a ruined building on the site have early Christian symbols inscribed on them, leading to speculation that it may have been an early chapel. And in and around the spring itself the landowner has found hundreds of Roman coins, medieval jewellery, blades, buckles, statuettes and a strange collection of weirdly carved stone heads. Time Team set out to uncover the story behind this strange collection of archaeological features and finds.

Turkdean, Gloucestershire - Revisited

#21 - Turkdean, Gloucestershire - Revisited 7.92

Season 6 - Episode 9

Eighteen months ago, Time Team discovered under this Gloucester field what maybe one of the largest Roman villas yet excavated in Britain. We found whole ranges of rooms including a beautiful bath house arranged around three courtyards spreading all over this plateau. But at the end of the three days, just when we thought we finally understood the villa, geophysics came up with another whole range of buildings running all the way up that hillside. Could this simply mean that the villa was even larger than we’d originally thought, or was there something rather extraordinary happening here 1600 years ago? Time Team just had to come back to Turkdean to find out.

An Englishman's Castle

#22 - An Englishman's Castle 7.89

Season 20 - Episode 11

When the Barlowsbought Upton Castle in Pembrokeshire they weren't sure if it was a Victorian folly or an Anglo-Norman castle. Time Team try to discover if it was one of the Anglo-Norman castles built to defend 'Little England beyond Wales' from the locals.

Cirencester, Gloucestershire - The Mosaic At The Bottom Of The Garden

#23 - Cirencester, Gloucestershire - The Mosaic At The Bottom Of The Garden 7.87

Season 7 - Episode 2

The Mosaic at the Bottom of the garden. The team of archaeological experts visits Cirencester, which in AD300 was one of the most important towns in Roman Britain.

Athelney, Somerset - The Guerrilla Base of the King

#24 - Athelney, Somerset - The Guerrilla Base of the King 7.87

Season 1 - Episode 1

The Guerrilla Base of the King. The Time Team has just three days to answer questions raised by a local farmer about the archaeological history on his Somerset doorstep, asking whether this once-impenetrable, marsh-encircled site was Alfred's hiding place.

Launceston, Cornwall - Medieval Leper Hospital

#25 - Launceston, Cornwall - Medieval Leper Hospital 7.86

Season 4 - Episode 2

An exciting discovery is made when the team attempts to solve the mystery of a well-preserved female skeleton.