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Episode One: The Satan’s Chimney

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The Satan’s Chimney, pictured from up on Leckhampton Hill

That is an episode a few limestone pillar left standing like a single, spindly finger in an deserted quarry on Leckhampton Hill. Locals say it’s the chimney the satan makes use of to funnel his pipe fumes after locals buried him in a pile of stones (although, in actuality, it’s solely a few hundred years outdated).

The Satan’s Chimney says loads concerning the city it overlooks, Cheltenham. It tells of a folklore and a judgment of right and wrong. It’s a story which lies as metaphor and underpins this episode, which ranges from the fogs of pre-history via to virtually the presentation. An introduction, you would possibly say, to the city that would be the topic of this documentary.

To synopsise this episode, it begins with a have a look at the city of Cheltenham, as viewable from the vista up on Leckhampton Hell. From that leaping off level we have a look at the archaeological historical past of Gloucestershire from early human settlements and monuments (like Belas Knapp) via to its vogue as a Regency spa city. Spa fever and spa water laid the foundations for the city’s financial enlargement and prosperity — we have a look at the water treatment and promenading and all this semi-quackery that the Georgians loved. As a diversion, we additionally take within the Hare and the Minotaur statue in central Cheltenham. With all this stunning structure and ample tradition, the city would finally play host to GCHQ. The episode concludes again on Leckhampton Hill, trying on the Satan’s Chimney and contemplating how evil slips via the cracks…

Contributors to this episode:

Anna Leszkiewicz, Phil Cox, Jill Waller, Geoff Dyer, Dr John Harcup, Catherine Curzon, Sophie Ryder, Richard Aldrich, Sir David Omand.

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