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About the series

David Dimbleby makes an epic six-part journey to explore the architecture of the British Isles.  He shares his findings with us in this landmark BBC One series.

David examines buildings that help us understand the nature of the British landscape, its peoples and their shared histories. 

Each region is travelled to focus on a particular period in British architectural history.

The programmes are

  • The East - A New Dawn
    Cathedrals, castles and churches of Medieval East Anglia
  • The Heart of England - Living It Up
    16th and early 17th century prodigy houses, churches and ruined monasteries found in and around the Midlands
  • Scotland - Towering Ambitions
    Scotland’s distinct buildings from 1500 to the present day
  • The West - Putting on the Style
    Georgian country houses, terraces and canals in Wales, Ireland and the west of England
  • The North - Full Steam Ahead
    Victorian industrial and civic buildings in the north of England
  • Modern South - Dreams of Tomorrow
    Twentieth Century Modernism, contemporary skyscrapers and suburbia in the south of England

The BBC TV series will be accompanied by a website at Visitors to the site are invited to send their photographs of British buildings and view others' pictures in an online gallery.

The BBC is also launching 3D photographic representations of buildings featured in the series, including Ely Cathedral, Burghley House, the Royal Crescent, Bath, the Scottish Parliament Buildings and Blackpool Tower Ballroom offering virtual tours of these buildings.

How We Built Britain is accompanied by a book written by David Dimbleby and published by Bloomsbury, available from A DVD of the series will be available later in the year.


Britain in Pictures

To accompany the BBC One series, BBC Four invites some of Britain’s most distinguished photographers to visit areas of Britain that have a special meaning for them to produce images inspired by the buildings of these regions.

The National Media Museum in Bradford will host Britain in Pictures, a display of images from the series and from the museum’s photography collection.


Building Britain

Also on BBC One, Building Britain will examine changes to the British landscape through modern architecture and new developments. Presenters include Germaine Greer, Peter Ackroyd and Lloyd Grossman. The films will lead into a series of local debates around the country, organised in partnership with the RIBA and broadcast by BBC local radio.

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