River Hunters: episodes
Episode 1: Stirling - First War of Scottish Independence
In the first episode of the series, Rick and Beau tackle the mighty river Forth in the shadow of Stirling Castle. In the first archaeological river search of this spot ever, the pair set out on the hunt for relics of Scotland’s greatest medieval warriors, William Wallace and Robert The Bruce, revealing secrets from the battle sites of their most famous victories against their hated English overlords. However, the River Hunters come across hugely significant finds dating much deeper into history as they unearth a Bronze age axe head and spear tip (c. 1000 AD) leading our experts to believe this area of the Forth near Cambuskenneth Abbey was a potential pagan place of worship.
Episode 2: Warwick - River Avon and War of Roses
Episode two sees our intrepid River Hunters visit the River Avon beneath the medieval Warwick Castle. Synonymous with Shakespeare, the river has a much darker history as it once ran red with the blood of thousands of slain soldiers, when it was at the heart of one of the defining battles in the Wars of the Roses. Teaming up with one the UK’s few diving archeologists, Gary Bankhead, Rick and Beau discover an array of artefacts ranging from the time of The Wars of The Roses to the Victorian age in Warwick. Next they head down the river to Tewkesbury to find a WW2 helmet and Victorian crockery.
Episode 3: English Civil War - Newark - River Trent
This episode sees Rick and Beau head to the vast River Trent, site of one of the greatest strongholds of the English Civil War – Newark Castle. In the first official search of the waterway, the River Hunters will be searching for lost Civil War relics that reveal the secrets of this brutal battleground. The duo start their search directly next to the castle and find evidence from the key advances in warfare at the time, which eventually helped lead to the King’s demise. They also discover musket balls among other lost items that help picture the harrowing life in this turbulent time.
Episode 4: Vikings – River Trent
Rick and Beau return to the River Trent to follow in the bloody footsteps of the Vikings as they invaded 9th century Britain. In the first ever archaeological river search of key Viking sites, they hunt for relics of Chief Ivar The Boneless and the Great Heathen Army as they conquered the Anglo-Saxon Kings of England. The River Hunters start their search next to the site of the largest ever Viking burial ground found on the British Isles, Repton Monastery, before heading to Tamworth to search the Trent tributary - the Tame. Rick’s childhood dream comes true when he finds Viking relics – they also discover something that could be even older, an ancient stylus which would have been potentially used at the abbey.
Episode 5: Hadrian’s Wall - River Eden and Carlisle
Episode five sees Rick and Beau head to Britain’s most spectacular and best-preserved Roman frontier – Hadrian’s wall, where they scour the River Eden and River Carlisle which flow along its path looking for lost evidence from the might of 2nd century Rome and the invaders’ brutal occupation of Britain. Beginning their search at the carefully protected site of Chester’s Roman Fort, the team conduct the first ever archeological search of the neighbouring waterway and proceed to Carlisle, once a bustling metropolis of Roman activity. In Carlisle, Rick and Beau check out the recently discovered and excavated Roman bath house that has never been searched. With a host of great finds, chief among them a Roman coin from the House of Constantine c.330-340, the team discover signs of life from this great empire that helped shape much of modern life.
Episode 6: Barnard Castle - River Tees
This time on River Hunters at the edge of one of Britain’s greatest castles, Rick and Beau battle the forceful River Tees. In the first archaeological river search of this spot ever, the boys search for lost Tudor relics from a gruesome 16th century siege at Barnard Castle and secrets of this ancient borderland. During their search, the team unearth some potential medieval finds that could have been used in the castle at the time of the siege and also come across other finds likely to date back to the 16 and 1700s.
Episode 7: Henry VIII – River Wear
In the seventh episode Rick and Beau take on the stunning River Wear – a natural fortress protecting the ancient city of Durham and its sacred Cathedral, where in the 1500s Henry VIII seized power of the Church and the Cathedral’s shrines were plundered. Joined by Archaeologist Gary Bankhead, the team find artefacts spanning Durham’s rich past from the 1200s reign of Edward I, helping to shed light on the history of the city.
Episode 8: William The Conqueror – River Avon
In the last episode of the series Rick and Beau head to the River Avon at the foot of one of Britain’s most historic sites, Old Sarum near Salisbury, in search of William the Conqueror and his legacy. Following his defeat of King Harold at The Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror built an imposing motte and bailey castle at Old Sarum in 1067, where he’s believed to have been presented with the infamous Doomsday book. From here, Rick and Beau follow the Avon – just as the population and sacred cathedral did, which was moved brick by brick down river to Salisbury. They search for the town’s 13th century beginnings and how it built successful trades that lead to its survival, unlike the abandoned Old Sarum. From their searches, the team unearth an array of Roman coins, the oldest of which dates back to the 3rd century, as well medieval plates and tilery that are potentially from the time of William the Conqueror.