Victorian Farm
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Victorian Farm

2009, History  -   51 Comments
Ratings: 7.61/10 from 44 users.

Victorian FarmHistorical observational documentary series following a team who live the life of Victorian farmers for a year. Wearing period clothes and using only the materials that would have been available in 1885, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn are going back in time to relive the day-to-day life of the Victorian farmer.

The project is based on the Acton Scott estate in Shropshire - a world frozen in time, lost in Victorian rural England. Its buildings and grounds are cluttered with antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family, who have lived on the estate since the 12th century.

Working for a full calendar year, Ruth, Alex and Peter are rediscovering a lost world of skills, crafts and knowledge, assisted by an ever-dwindling band of experts who keep Victorian rural practices alive.

The team move into a Victorian smallholding on the Acton Scott estate that has not been used in nearly half a century. Their first task is the restoration of the cottage. As incoming tenants, they help thresh the previous summer's wheat crop, their first experience of steam-powered machinery. Alex attempts to sow a wheat crop using horse-power. Ruth and Peter install a range in the cottage and take a trip to the canals to load up on coal.

It's time for the apple harvest, so Alex and Peter turn their hand to making cider. Ruth explores the challenges of Victorian cooking by making preserves ready for winter and cooks her first meal on the range. And the team must learn shepherding skills the hard way as the first livestock arrive on the farm - a flock of Shropshire ewes. Another interesting documentary of this kind is Edwardian Farm.

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51 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Martha Hanlon

    GGGaaaddsss these used to be free and were a great source of docents, reenactments, and demonstrators. They are not programmed for the US either...... only region 2! ::sigh::

  2. Realistic

    Anyone know where we can watch a video of this series?

    1. Bette Eakin


    2. Cate

      Hurrah! Edwardian Farm and Victorian Farm are now on Amazon Prime!!

  3. Richard Neva

    I wish we all good do this. So wholesome, so rewarding.

  4. UnderSiege

    Lovely, but twenty minutes of that histrionic, supercilious woman eventually ruined it for me. It's a lame criticism I suppose?
    Ah well, I never aspired to perfection. :-)

  5. stauder

    very beautiful documents

  6. dallas

    i love it...... the victorian period is my favourite part of british history... seems to be great for all ages as i haven't even hit my teens yet!

  7. Sonya Turner

    Such a fantastic series. I'm sad it's ended. :(

  8. annie hoogan

    I love this series. This version has tons of commercials though.

  9. Sharon Smith

    Is this available to buy on DVD?? I really really want this!

  10. rosiejane66

    When Ruth is learning how to use a treddle sewing machine I had to have a laugh. They made it such a drama but my sisters and I all learnt to use one at home before we learnt to use electric machines at school. My wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses were made on said treddle machine in the 1980's.

  11. Ashdelenn

    The link is broken it won't play after the commercial

  12. Gingerella72

    After the ad plays, there is audio but no video - what gives?

  13. Michael Mansell

    Quite enjoyable, though my favourite is still the first - 'Tales from The Green Valey' - I do have concerns about the accuracy and the historical knowledge of the so-called historians that participate. I draw to your attention the episode where Ruth has a tin bath - *in her bedroom* - given that betrays a very modern attitude to privacy and that every single person I have asked about this - most of them who have little or no interest in the past - 'where would you take a tin bath in the 'old days' - the answer - as was mine - 'in front of the fire in the kitchen - the warmest room in the house' - *and* you don't have to carry jug after jug of hot water up the stairs, either! Just tell the boys too go to the pub for a couple of hours and have the house to yourself! So very, very obvious to anyone - it makes me wonder what else they're getting wrong. Oh - and think they ditched the wrong people from the first series in favour of Ruth, Fonz et al because they're some TV exec's idea of 'good TV'. Not from where I'm sitting, they ain't!

  14. Declan_Walsh

    This is great fun to watch,very interesting.

  15. Noele French

    The team are a totally different bunch in this installment than in Edwardian Farm! The vibe is drastically toned down and seemes quite like they are only just acquaintances, whereas in The Edwardian film they seem much like close friends and comrades.

    1. Pete Sinclair

      The reason for that, is because Victorian Farm came "first" (well okay Tales from the Green Valley is first) so they don't "quite" know each other as well as they did then. There's talk of producing another series along the same lines, but since Alex Langlands is now a member of Time Team, not sure if that's going to happen any time soon.

  16. Andreas Luneborg

    These series are really informative and educational. I can only imagine the dedication it takes to makes these series. This is experimental archeology / history at it's best.

  17. Placeboaddict

    Love this series, epic production value and good hosts. Wonder if they actually did stay for a full year... Seems a bit harsh.

  18. John

    Nobody noticed the bizar naration in the first episode!? OOh wee what up with dat?!

    1. pSinclair

      Not quite "narration" as it's more "Descriptive Video" for those visually impaired. Whoever originally ripped this episode got that audio channel as well.

  19. Kate Rose-Erickson

    This was an excellent documentary! I love to see some educational programs after so much crud we see on tv today.

  20. Lyn

    Interesting. I guess those of you who dislike history should look for another category, though. I think that this series was very professional and much more entertaining than cut throat reality where everyone treats one another like garbage.

  21. tk

    In my opinion this doc is very nice.
    After all it delivers exactly what it promised: Insight into the english farmer's life in the victorian era with all its revolutionary progress in mechanics and industry.
    If you want boring drama,eco-vegan nonsense or insight in stranger's personal lives then this is not for you. Nor does the doc contain any action, flashy screens and those typically american measure ups: "It is thrice as big as the state of Texas, it has existed longer than the dinosaurs and humans combined and is up to date the most... bla bla"
    I recommend this for people wanting to learn some history, this isn't about modern lifestyles and hippy fantasies.

  22. heylelshalem

    quite interesting. im a big fan of history and this gives a bit more detailed exploration into the basic practices of a time gone by. One thing i have gotten from it is inspired to make my own curry now lol.

  23. Kris

    I wish Ruth would stop scrunching her face up all the time...she's turning me off my dinner.

  24. mdohamed

    i loved this movie

  25. Smellydemon

    Great doc informative and entertaining!

  26. Charles B.

    10 X 36 = 360!!! Is this really a six hour film? Sounds like a "start it and play with the kids all day while you listen film." Next weekend perhaps. I do so love farms. Glad I noticed that before starting at 11:00 at night!

  27. Dodgy

    I found this one mildly interesting. Was hoping it would be like the one they had in the US on pbs where there were more interpersonal problems. Wacky reality shows are akin to a modern day coliseum show - I guess sometimes I need drama. It did perk up when the guy talked about livestock that was suicidal lol If I can't have babymomma drama I guess a quirky character could be entertaining instead. When the owner came to investigate I wanted to see project runway and see him talk like that guy but alas he was just brief. See, those shows are influencing me again :P

  28. Sadie the Celt

    @ SimonTheSorcerer

    lol what are you like! haha! wheres yr winery? surely its got its advantages? ( i mean unless yr teetotal?) Sade

  29. SimonTheSorcerer

    OMG it reminds me so much of my parents winery and I have to go there next week :) Shoot me where I stand! It looks good on film but when you are there it is extremly boring dull repetetive. I hate it. And yes my parents do everything traditionally with even less technology , luddites....

    1. risa bear

      Sounds like I would love your parents.

  30. Sadie the Celt

    Excellent recontruction of Victorian life - it must have taken a lot of effort to get all the origial tools, accomodation, equipment to keep the authenticity. Its a tribute to Vicorian Era - an excellent project - I appreciated this so much.

    Wouldnt it be terrible if, at the 'wrap' party, someone accidentlly threw a cigarette butt into the barn - and everything went up in smoke - ??!! - phew thank goodness we got the video!

  31. Mcleod

    My wife and I loved this show and we were wanting to see the whole thing.

    I hope this will answer are quest.

    Not boring, Fasinating. Makes one appreciate what we have now. And the 'lack' of work we all have to do.

    I think people who find it boring and unexciting are a sad testimony to what our society produces. Sometimes there isn't a flash and a bang, there's only the quiet thud of work horses trodding along the Brittish country side.

    I gotta go my microwave popcorn is burning and we are about to watch the DIE HARD HD blueray full series in super quadrophonic blariopera sound.

    I love the understated quality of this film. Real life, real, uh, reality?


  32. debra

    I loved this show. Tons of interesting facts and tips from folk tradition origins to recipes.

  33. Learner


    lots of information for anyone looking to recreate a situation like that, but very little info that would be applicable today. It was well put together and covered a range of different aspects of the victorian farm life. This documentary really lacked excitement tho. Not much to really keep you watching and wondering.

  34. krishah

    This was great. Probably not for everyone but I am fascinated by the back to the land movement and thought it was really interesting.

  35. silkop

    Frodo and Sam strike again!

  36. holly clark

    This was so cool! "Marathon watched" it.

  37. Jelena

    I really love it!!! What an amazing tuch of nature nostalgy in those days.Bravo!!!

  38. Dr. Dunkleosteus

    I really enjoyed this. Very cool.

  39. TX_Gypsy

    Call me boring but I loved it! I'm going to try my hand at using apple peels to make pectin to jar my jellies this year. Thanks for posting!

  40. Nora

    This was friggin awesome, loved every part of it!

  41. Leein

    A bit of a farce. Think about the learn traditions and science, is not given prior to trying to survive. Therefore its more like a cheap reality show. However, its interesting how modern agriculture and life conflicts with traditional means. Still, not fair cause generations of practice and devleopment from child to adults passed on by parents is more relevant then most would think.

  42. 26maustralia

    What an awesome experience, this documentary was truly amazing to watch. 5 stars!

  43. crabman

    Yeah good prep if that farm happens to be between 1837 and 1901.

  44. Jeppe

    wow! .. that was boring..

    1. Vlatko

      Hahaha... I knew someone was going to say that.

      Anyhow, some folks were asking for this doc.

      If you're planing to live on a farm this would be good prep.

    2. know

      Thanks for putting this up great doc and very good prep for my small farm ;-)