Invasion! With Sam Willis
Three-part series in which intrepid historian Dr Sam Willis reveals a remarkable story of invasion in Britain spanning thousands of years.
In this first programme, Sam fells a tree with a flint axe in Kent, gets to grips with the technology of Viking boats and rides an Iron Age chariot. He also searches for clues of invasion at Silbury Hill and tracks down evidence of the Beaker people who brought ceramics, metalwork and beakers to Britain.
Dr Sam Willis tells the story of the Barbary Corsaire pirates, who made their HQ on Lundy Island, and brings together the evidence of the little-known tale of King Louis the Lion. This French king invaded Britain in the 13th century after being invited to do so by plotting nobles. He was even crowned at St Paul’s, but politely retreated when asked. Sam also looks at one day in 1687 when a huge Dutch task force sped up the River Medway, and plots the progress of perhaps one of the most audacious attempted invasions ever – by the imposter Perkin Warbeck.
In this final programme, Sam Willis continues to tell the story of the invasions that have shaped Britain. He finds evidence of the rich legacy of the Huguenots who came to Britain bringing fine silks and the latest technological developments. He also discovers the ingenious French plans to invade Britain by balloon and the subterranean fortress built for troops in the 19th century when invasion paranoia was at fever pitch.