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4.7 out of 5 stars84
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 February 2014
I bought this after watching the series on BBC. All of the Farm series -- Victorian, Edwardian, Wartime -- have been interesting and Tudor is no exception. We learn so much of the history of ordinary people, the development of technology, often water-powered, and the nature of life with one pervasive world view governed by the Catholic Church. These videos are in context, not looking ahead to events of the Reformation, and viewers are steeped in the lives that we are watching. The presenters are all terrific and teach history in delightful ways.
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After so many successful Farm series, you might have thought there was little left in agricultural history to sustain another six hours of documentaries. But it turns out that the early Tudor era is jammed with fascinating farming techniques and practices - perhaps all the more interesting because they are now so distant.
Tudor Monastery Farm continues the series' high standards: it's intelligent and informative factual TV which is also entertaining and good-natured. No fights or bickering but plenty of expert insight into ancient techniques and disappearing crafts.

Presenter Ruth Goodman in particular seems to thrive in this era; she tackles even the most repulsive household tasks with relish and chatters away, explaining the social, scientific or religious background. Her eel fishing expedition was priceless (and neatly demonstrated all kinds of lost arts, including how the eel traps are made and have different names all over the country). Peter Ginn is an excellent guide through the industrial and agricultural aspects; he always looks totally exhausted yet remains cheerily upbeat when washing a sheep before shearing (the sheep looked worse after its wash than before), or ploughing a field with unruly oxen, or building a blast-furnace out of half a forest. Newcomer Tom Pinfold is the weakest link, and seemed to bring little expertise to the situation - nice guy, but struggled to fill the gap left by Alex from previous series.
Where TMF really succeeded for me was in demonstrating the massive power of the church at that time. No wonder Henry VIII dismantled it; the church seemed to be massively influential in daily life, more like the government today. The segment about mining and refining lead (a brilliant episode in which we learn about 'white coal' among other things) demonstrated just how wealthy the church was at that time.
So setting this series on the cusp of great change, just before disestablishment *and* at the onset of industrialisation works brilliantly. TMF captures a moment of British rural history which changed radically in the following century and is almost unrecognisable today. yet so many of our customs and traditions stem from these old ways. It's fascinating. And who knew that you could 'harvest' yeast by leaving a bowl of flour and water overnight in a field? Brilliant.

Sometimes the play-acting is a bit over the top for my tastes - especially the festivals of merrye olde Englande. But I really appreciate the contributions of the guest experts (many members of the Goodman family!) who bring treasured lifelong skills and experience to life.
A superb series for all ages.
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on 17 April 2014
Anyone watching this "farm" series won't be disappointed in this dvd. Newcomers to the series will love it. Wouldn't it be good if schools would show videos of this type, and base some history lessons around them. It might even catch the pupils' interest!
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on 7 April 2014
We here in the States cannot get enough of the Farm series, beginning with Tales from the Green Valley. I hope these ingenious people aren't finished! We love everything they have put out!
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on 16 March 2014
again a great enactment of a an interesting period of our history. Showing how much influence the church had upon what we grew and ate. I thought that I would find it not so interesting without Alex but Tom Penfold took over the reigns admirably still a great team. I expect that this will be the last in the farming series? What about a Roman Farm?
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on 23 March 2014
Both myself and my wife have enjoyed all the Ruth Goodman and Peter Ginn series of past ways of rural life. This is the best yet and we were able to escape from the twenty first century and return to a by gone age,. Of course one can never be sure of accuracy because we cannot yet travel back in time but this is the nearest thing to it. Very well put together and photographed and can be repeated because there is always some detail that you wish to examine and perhaps research. further.
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on 19 February 2014
I have a whole collection of these informative videos and keep buying them because they are so interesting and entertaining. As well as The Tudor Monastery Farm, I have in my collection: The Victorian Farm + Tales From The Green Valley, The Edwardian Farm, The Wartime Farm, and The Victorian Pharmacy. All these films have a very therapeutic quality. They are so relaxing to watch. I will definitely keep buying them as they appear.
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on 3 May 2014
Yet another resounding success from the producers and team of this series. It's perhaps not the ideal starter on this series but it's equally as good, once you know the characters and that which they are trying to do.
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on 9 February 2015
Loved this as I've loved all the others in this delightful series. A fascinating insight into an interesting historical period. I came away wanting to try out some of the simpler culinary techniques myself! Much more hard work went into life in those days, but what comes through consistently is the cast's sense of enjoyment and fun and willingness to muck in. The feasts and games are simple by modern standards but the cast wholeheartedly participate. My one regret is that this DVD doesn't include the Christmas feast, which I was really looking forward to seeing and the main reason I bought this DVD! That's the only reason I'm not giving this five stars.
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on 26 April 2014
tudor monetary just like the others Victorian farm,Edwardian farm,wartime farm are just so dam interesting and Ruth goodman and the two guys are fantastic I
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