Phil Harding rode a horse for the first time in his life during the filming of this episode.
Helen: The site's starting some time around 1100, we know it's still going sometime around 1200 what about the end?
Paul: Well round here there's a major medieval pottery industry, at Potterspury which is just three miles down the road. This industry started about 1250, now if you excavate a site dating to the late 13th or 14th century around here you find masses of that pottery and I do mean masses it completely dominates the pottery sherds, but there isn't one single scrap of it on this site.
Helen: Gosh so it was completely abandoned.
Paul: It must have been.
Tony: Two thirds of the way through day one and we seems to have this extraordinary mismatch, on one hand we've got all those beautiful finds that seem to imply a whole host of buildings but in the ground you can hardly find any archaeology at all. I don't know what's going on, and quite frankly I don't think the archaeologists do either.
Tony: Mick I know you think this is a pig of a site, but Jonathan has come up with a fabulous theory that might ease your grumpiness a bit
Mick: Go on then
Jonathan: Ok, day one I said it's a mystery site, right so the theory is this, no one actually lives here. It's a pig processing plant.
Mick: (incredulously) Right.
Tony: Go on, justify it, given the rubble that you've got in front of you.
Jonathan: It's very small for a house. It could still be a peasant hovel. But I'm suggesting the pigs are brought in possibly water is heated; scald the pigs you know, de-hair them and then maybe it's some kind of smokehouse. Those weird metal clamps you found might have been for pig's legs.
Tony: You know when he told me this I thought it was brilliant, but you're the Professor, so?
Mick: Well, the thing that might help is the Domesday book for this particular manor lists 1000 pigs for the manor, using the woods surrounding for grazing that's a hell of a lot of pigs to have around.
Alan: Your Norman Knights rode ponies that were about 12 hands in height.
Phil: Oh you're laughing they were big warriors, they've got enormous horses.
Alan: Have a look at this, (producing a facsimile of the Bayeux Tapestry) look where the men's feet are, look how close they are to the ground.
Phil: Couldn't that just be artistic licence?
Alan: No because we have excavations of bones from horses, that scaled up would have been 12 or 13 hands, maximum height.
Phil: Right ok, so maybe this one here.
Alan: What's your horse's name?
Alan: Hello Murphy.
Tony: (v.o.) at first sight, Phil thought the bit looked like an instrument of torture, but the Normans seemed to have known what they were doing. Murphy accepts it without fuss.
Alan: He doesn't seem to be protesting too much.
Phil: No, I'm amazed.
Alan: We've prepared your warhorse, Sir Phillip.
Phil: What? Is that alright? Is it alright for me to ride your horse?
Tony: Need a hand up?
Alan: To you Tony, this must seem like a mighty charger.
International Air Dates:
Australia: 27th May 2008
11th Century Pottery
Cast a Norman Horse Bit
Tony: 800 years ago England was far from a green and pleasant land
Tony's quote comes from the final stanza of William Blake's Jerusalem
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land