A House through Time – BBC2

In A House through Time, David Olusoga continues his look at the history of one house and its occupants as the 20th Century begins

As A House through Time continues, we enter the 20th Century and meet some new occupants at No. 5

The first series got rave reviews in many quarters as historian and presenter David Olusoga and his team looked into the history of a mid-19th-century house in Liverpool.

For this series the emphasis has switched to another great city. In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a solid brick Georgian terrace in the Summerhill area has been giving up its secrets.

Now, it’s 1910, and Grace Eagle and her two children, Leonora and Henry, are the residents of No.5 Ravensworth Terrace, the house that’s under the spotlight.

David Olusoga discovers the 41-year-old Grace was having a very public battle with her philandering husband in the local newspapers.

She was also running a boarding house.

But it wasn’t just any old boarding house.

In fact Grace’s house – now Grade II listed – was a magnet for theatrical folk visiting the city. No. 5 was host to many a riotous music-hall turn.

A House through Time

No. 5 Ravensworth Terrace, in Summerhill, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

As always with this immaculately researched series, the personal stories of the people living in No.5 reveal some fascinating facts about life in Britain at the time.

The arrival of World War One had a huge impact on Grace – who was reclassified as a “foreign” after marrying a Romanian. Then, in a surprising twist, the house becomes a hotbed of rebellion as a new family moves in and uses No. 5 Ravensworth Terrace as a cover for their daring double lives.

TV Times rating: *****

 

A House through Time is a four-part series and concludes next week. Past episodes are available on iPlayer