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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living History classic
This is the only book to accompany the Tales of the Green Valley DVDs and is an account of how the landscape and the buildings used in the series came into being. The whole valley was created by volunteers, and reading this account gives an idea of how long and hard the journey was. I wish I'd been there. Mr. Peachey manages to convey the joys as well as the difficulties...
Published on 15 July 2011 by Morning Star

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Modest Amount of Damage and Irritation
‘The Building of the Green Valley’ is not the book of the TV series that was the progenitor of the ‘Victorian Farm’ etc programmes. Instead, the subtitle of Stuart Peachey ‘s book places the focus elsewhere: ‘The Restoration of an Early Seventeenth-Century Agricultural Landscape’.

Peachey’s team (not the four in...
Published 3 months ago by Nicholas Casley


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living History classic, 15 July 2011
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Morning Star (Heringas, Dunelmensis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Building of the Green Valley: A Reconstruction of an Early 17th-century Rural Landscape (Paperback)
This is the only book to accompany the Tales of the Green Valley DVDs and is an account of how the landscape and the buildings used in the series came into being. The whole valley was created by volunteers, and reading this account gives an idea of how long and hard the journey was. I wish I'd been there. Mr. Peachey manages to convey the joys as well as the difficulties of this immense project and it is a pity that he was not allowed to discuss the making of the BBC documentaries. Looking at the lavishly produced coffee table Victorian Farm and Edwardian Fram books, one feels regret that the BBC/powers that be could not be bothered to collaborate with Mr Peachey on a similar volume for the Green Valley. Shame, BBC. Until that happens, if ever, this small but very enjoyable volume will have to stand in its place. More plaese, Mr Peachey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Modest Amount of Damage and Irritation, 5 Nov. 2014
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Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Building of the Green Valley: A Reconstruction of an Early 17th-century Rural Landscape (Paperback)
‘The Building of the Green Valley’ is not the book of the TV series that was the progenitor of the ‘Victorian Farm’ etc programmes. Instead, the subtitle of Stuart Peachey ‘s book places the focus elsewhere: ‘The Restoration of an Early Seventeenth-Century Agricultural Landscape’.

Peachey’s team (not the four in the TV series) worked for fifteen years prior to the arrival of the film crews and continued long after they had gone. Peachey himself relates how, “the filming was only a minor episode in the site’s history, which served to raise funds for the site and caused a modest amount of damage and irritation, soon forgotten. The real work of reconstruction continued.”

He is perhaps a little curmudgeonly here, since the series showed that he did get a new cowshed and an enlarged privy as well as a field cleared of bracken and brambles. Of the fourteen chapters, only one short one is devoted to the year of filming. It is full of the myriad preparations that were made but Peachey informs us that, “For contractual reasons I cannot reveal what actually occurred during the filming.”

Peachey’s story in fact starts in Gosport in June 1984, at a Living History week sanctioned by the local council. Having caught the bug, he and his group ended up in the south Welsh Marches where the ‘green valley’ can be found (if you look hard enough). He writes, “We had a clear idea of what we were setting out to achieve. Our aim was to restore the whole agricultural landscape, from buildings to weeds, to its probable condition in the early seventeenth century.”

In the meantime there are battles with the planners, battles with the locals, battles with thieves. We must take into account that we only hear Peachey’s side of the story, of course. For example, I was a little taken aback to read his view that “many employees” of the Yorkshire Dales National park [where he worked for awhile] were more interested in their careers than in the environment.

As well as the background to the project, Peachey narrates in some detail the reconstruction of the site. I’m afraid that I skimmed over many of these pages; this is not my scene, but those are into this kind of thing will no doubt find it all fascinating. I hope Peachey will forgive me and my ignorance for wondering why it all took so long, especially given the large amounts of (free?) labour from various groups. This is not to deny the achievement, for it is clear that an immense amount of effort has been put into the project, and Peachey does list over eight pages as many names as he can remember as a ‘thank you’ at the very end of the book. (There is no index.)

The book itself is split into two parts, but the second is really a series of appendices to the first. They examine the history of the site through maps and other documents, putting a sheen of humanity (however sketchy) into the picture. Perforce, its previous inhabitants are not strongly represented in the surviving historical records. In this second part Peachey also covers the planting of the gardens and the orchards, the wildlife, The book is illustrated with photographs and maps, although the colour plates are often too small to be fully appreciated.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!, 2 Sept. 2009
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S. Clark "Winterwolf" (Berkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Building of the Green Valley: A Reconstruction of an Early 17th-century Rural Landscape (Paperback)
This is a great book and made watching the DVD even more enjoyable! It gave you a real insight into what they had to do for the series.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something missing, 14 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: The Building of the Green Valley: A Reconstruction of an Early 17th-century Rural Landscape (Paperback)
An interesting read about how the Green Valley settlement came into being, but next to nothing about the series itself: probably what prompted most people to have bought the book in the first place. To be fair to Stuart Peachey, he does mention that contractual problems prevented this, in which case when can we expect a book about the experiences of Alex, Chloe, Peter and Ruth during the year they lived there?
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5.0 out of 5 stars It is a fascinating read. I appreciate the list ..., 21 July 2014
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This review is from: The Building of the Green Valley: A Reconstruction of an Early 17th-century Rural Landscape (Paperback)
It is a fascinating read. I appreciate the list of heritage fruit, etc. included in the book, and he extensive bibliography.
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