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Filthy cities. Part 1, Medieval London.

  • Snow, Dan.
  • Videos

About this work


The first in a three-part series in which historian Dan Snow looks back at the history of three major cities in terms of their public health and hygiene. The first part features London in medieval times. Snow gives a comprehensive history of the city and CGI footage shows how the London streets may have looked. Snow spends one night working as a medieval muck-raker, shifting six tonnes of excrement and bathing in the Thames. He guts a pig and visits a medieval pharmacy to learn about some of the terrifying treatments on offer if you were unlucky enough to get ill; Snow is bled by a leech. We are given a good account of the plague and the remains of a plague victim are examined. The effects the plague had on the future cleaning up of London are discussed and the process of transformation is described.


UK : BBC 2, 2011.

Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, color, PAL


Broadcast on 5 April, 2011

Creator/production credits

Produced and directed by Jeremy Turner.

Copyright note




  • English

Where to find it

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