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DVD

A DVD set of Tales from the Green Valley is available. RRP is £24.99 but you can buy it for just £19.99, with free delivery in the UK.

Tales from the Green Valley DVD

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Non UK *
Victorian Farm on DVD

A DVD set of the BBC's Victorian Farm TV series is now available on DVD. You can order it now, for just £17.99, with free delivery in the UK.

Victorian Farm DVD BBC TV

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Non UK *

A DVD set of Victorian Farm Christmas is available. RRP is £19.99 but you can buy it for just £11.49, with free delivery in the UK.

 Victorian Farm Christmas DVD

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Non UK *
Victorian Pharmacy on DVD

A DVD set of the BBC's Victorian Pharmacy TV series is now available on DVD. You can order it now, for just £13.99, with free delivery in the UK.

 Victorian Pharmacy DVD BBC TV

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The Complete Victorian Farm Box Set on DVD

A DVD set of the BBC's The Complete Victorian Farm Box set of Victorian Farm and Victorian Farm Christmas is now available on DVD. You can order it now, for just £19.99, with free delivery in the UK.

 The Complete Victorian Farm DVD BBC TV

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Non UK *
Edwardian Farm on DVD

A DVD set of the BBC's Edwardian Farm DVD of Edwardian Farm order a copy now for just £22.99, with free delivery in the UK.

 Edwardian Farm DVD BBC TV

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Non UK *
Victorian Farm & Tales from The Green Valley on DVD

A DVD Box set of the BBC's Victorian Farm & Tales from The Green Valley Order a copy now for just £23.99, with free delivery in the UK.

 Victorian Farm & Tales from The Green Valley DVD BBC TV

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Non UK *

*Please note that the DVD and VHS are only available on PAL (European/International) format not NTSC (the normal US/Canada format). If you're in the USA or Canada, please check that your DVD/VHS player can play PAL before purchasing. Do email if you have any queries.

TALKS

Peter is more than happy to give talks about the series illustrated with clips from the films. If you’d like to arrange a talk, please contact us.

Further information

You can read about some of the lessons we can learn from Tales from the Green Valley and the past on the BBC’s website

To find out more about those involved in the series you can visit their websites:

Ruth Goodman - historian

Alex Langlands - archaeologist

Pete Hayns - cameraman

David Poore - composer
You can even listen to the titles’ music track

The series was made by Lion Television

TESTIMONIALS

"This is the best period lifestyle reconstruction I’ve seen on British television… this engaging series really does fire the imagination.”

The Observer

tales from green valley

Tales from the Green Valley

A BBC history TV series, Tales from the Green Valley, explores life on a British farm in the 17th century. This 12 x 1/2 hour television documentary, produced and directed by Peter Sommer was shown on BBC2 in the UK in autumn 2005, attracting large audiences and wide critical acclaim.

programme of the year… gorgeous, cosy, informative… this series utterly beguiles… There is a genuine sense of watching history brought to life here.” Daily Mail

Find about the sequels:
The Complete Victorian Farm
Victorian Farm
Victorian Farm Christmas
Victorian Pharmacy
Edwardian Farm

Tales from the Green Valley was the winner of a prestigious Learning on Screen Award 2006 given by the British Universities Film & Video Council.

Watch a video clip from Tales From The Green Valley BBC2, 2005.

Oxen Plouging

Traditional Oxen Ploughing

Down on the Farm - 1620’s style

How do you gauge gas mark 7 when you’re using a 17th century bread oven?

Why did people 400 years ago save up their urine to help with the laundry?

Why did farmers in Britain traditionally plough with oxen and not horses?

These are just some of the questions five historians and archaeologists asked themselves as they spent a whole year working a farm restored to how it would have been in the year 1620.

Tales from the Green Valley follows the five as they labour for a full agricultural year, getting to grips with period tools, skills, and technology from the age of the Stuarts, the reign of James I. Everything must be done by hand, from ploughing with a team of oxen using a replica period plough and thatching a cowshed using only authentic materials, to making their own washing liquid for laundry and harvesting the hay & wheat with scythes and sickles.

Each of the 12 half-hour programmes, made by Lion TV for BBC Wales, follows a month in the life of the farm situated on the Welsh borders. Far from being a reality series, these beautifully filmed programmes revel instead in the period’s rich history, the British countryside as it changes through the seasons, and of course food. Every episode features a dinner cooked up using period breeds and varieties of animals, fruits, and vegetables, according to 400 year old recipes extracted from housewives’ diaries, farming manuals etc.

The five specialists wear period clothing - because they’re practical, real working garments, with the men in breeches so the bottoms don’t get muddy and wet, and the women wearing long thick skirts which protect from brambles and keep them warm.

And when historian Stuart Peachey, costume and social customs specialist Ruth Goodman, and archaeologists Alex Langlands, Peter “Fonz” Ginn and Chloe Spencer don’t have the answers, they call in outside experts: a host of traditional British artisans - charcoal burner, butcher, hedge-layer, candlemaker, dry-stone waller, thatcher ... all working with period tools.

Tales from the Green Valley is narrated by award winning Welsh actor, Owen Teale.

If you’d like to know more about the series you can read an article written by Peter for Countryman magazine - Tales from the Green Valley: Behind the Scenes

Previews & Reviews for Tales from the Green Valley:
“This should be compulsory for all schoolchildren struggling with their history lessons. Never has life in the 17th century appeared more fascinating.” The Telegraph

“this is a fascinating programme: simple, informative, and devoid of the overenthusiasm that afflicts Time Team or Rough Science… blissfully pastoral.” The Sunday Times

“reality TV with educational value, as well as being highly entertaining…A thoroughly engaging concept”
Sunday Express

“seductive...a wonderfully restful bit of TV” Daily Mirror

“an admirably wholehearted attempted to reconnect with life on the land...these lovingly filmed programmes revel in the changing seasons” The Independent

“absorbing...high educational content…the attempt by historians and archaeologists to live as Welsh borderland farmers would have lived in 1620 makes delightful television, especially for the enthusiasm and delight with which they approach their tasks… watching them at work makes you feel like you are actually learning something...an unassuming, worthwhile endeavour “ The Times

“A vanished world from a forgotten time neatly surmises the considerable charms of the Valley” The Guardian

“Charming…the archaeologists and historians delight in putting their knowledge into practice” The Sunday Telegraph

“This chronicle of archaeologists, historians, and a rare breeds specialist tending a working farm for a whole year in 1620s style is fascinating” Financial Times

“it’s a real history-come-to-life series that demonstrates you don’t need social strife to make reality TV absorbing. Seeing the experts put their knowledge into practice is surprisingly gripping…there’s also a richness to the photography that makes it quite lovely to watch” Radio Times

You might also like to read another feature about the series published in Retirement Today Magazine - Tales from the Green Valley: A Window on the Past

DVD’s of Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas and Victorian Pharmacy are all now available. An Edwardian Farm DVD will be available early in 2011.

As well as making documentaries and writing, Peter also personally leads a number of our cultural Turkey tours each year.

More About Peter Sommer