Part 10 of the BBC programme ‘Civilisations’ returns to our screens (on BBC4) exploring ‘The Remains of Slavery’, including a feature filmed at Beckford’s Tower.
The programme is presented by Bristol’s Poet Laureate, Miles Chambers – whose ancestors were taken as slaves from west Africa to the Caribbean. Like the landmark series which has been running on BBC2, the history is told through objects and architecture – but in this West Country addition, they are all found in and around Bath and Bristol. The documentary reveals that while Bristol was responsible for the business end of the slave trade, Georgian Bath boomed on the back of the profits made from it. Throughout the programme landmark sites in the area are visited, including our very own Beckford’s Tower, Dyrham Park, home to the Blackamoor statues, the Saltford Mill, where guinea kettles were made and exchanged for slaves, the Henbury slave grave and many more. Presenter Miles Chambers talks with experts of the West Country slave trade and explores the artefacts that keep the history alive.