BBC show revealing hidden history of Thorpeness to air tonight

The House in the Clouds in Aldeburgh and Ben Robinson inset

The Suffolk village of Aldeburgh is set to feature on BBC Two series Villages by the Sea tonight at 7pm. - Credit: BEATRICE NI BHROIN/PURPLE PRODUCTIONS/BBC/SARAH LUCY BROWN

A programme exploring the unique history of Thorpeness is set to air on BBC Two tonight.

The Suffolk village will be the focus of tonight's episode of the BBC Two series Villages by the Sea which is showing at 7pm.

In the episode archaeologist Ben Robinson examines how the purpose-built village was constructed by local landowner Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie and how his friendship with J. M. Barrie — the author of Peter Pan — left its mark on the village.

The show will also delve into how the village was at the forefront of a new holiday industry – and how Ogilvie cleverly catered for every desire of upper middle class holiday trippers.

It will examine clues from buildings, street patterns, artefacts and the landscape to unravel why the village is there, and how its fortunes have changed.

Mr Robinson said: "Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie created something special here out of very little — a theatrical, dream-like village.

Programme Name: Villages by the Sea - S2 - TX: n/a - Episode: Villages by the Sea - S2 (No. n/a) - P

Ben Robinson, presenter of the BBC Two show Villages by the Sea - Credit: BBC / Purple Productions / Sarah Lucy Brown

"I have admired the 'House in the Clouds' from a distance over the years, so I couldn't wait to have a look inside. It didn't disappoint – it’s completely unique, clever and bonkers at the same time.

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"But in fact many of the Thorpeness buildings are equally quirky - a mix of quaint old English and old European styles. Their neat, old fashioned appearance is completely deceptive though. Ogilivie used purpose-made concrete blocks in their construction, which was a real innovation in Edwardian times.

"The glorious thing about our seaside villages, in fact most villages, is that they all have different histories and characters. Mostly these take shape over centuries, but amazingly the history and character of Thorpeness was manufactured almost overnight and it’s still true to its original character.

Programme Name: Villages by the Sea - S2 - TX: n/a - Episode: Villages by the Sea - S2 - Ep6 - Thorp

A view across Aldeburgh, which is featuring in the BBC 2 - Credit: BBC / Purple Productions / Beatrice Ni Bhroin

"We are all used to the idea of family holidays that put children, safe outdoorsy adventures and clubs at the forefront, but this idea had to be invented - and it was invented at Thorpeness by Ogilvie over 100 years ago.”

The episode will air on BBC Two tonight (Monday, November 22) at 7pm and will also be available via BBC iPlayer.

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