About the project

The World Turned Upside Down is a unique resource telling the stories of the people, events and ideas of the British Civil Wars, which are explored by leading historians.

These programmes include fortnightly audio podcasts, in which - with the help of professional actors - they explain how these turbulent times shaped the Britain we know today.

Not only will you meet well-known figures, including King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, but also the ordinary men, women and children of the towns and villages of the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. You will learn how the wars changed their lives and how they survived.

Through talks and interviews, leading historians take you into Royal palaces, parliament, onto battlefields and into family homes to answer questions including:

How were the British Civil Wars fought?
Why was the monarchy restored in 1660?
What was the role of religion?
What caused the British Civil Wars?
What were leading figures such as Charles I & Oliver Cromwell like?
What was the impact on the daily life of ordinary people?

Each programme is complemented by supporting materials, including transcripts, interactive glossary, timelines, further reading, original sources and maps.

Additional material is constantly being added.

All these programmes are free to everyone.

Listen to a welcome from Professor Andrew Hopper

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Our Team

Mike Gibbs

Michael Gibbs

Mike Gibbs is a graduate of the University of Nottingham who has had a career in print and radio journalism. He is chairman of Sherborne Gibbs and the founder and publisher of History West Midlands

Claire Wood

Claire Wood

Claire is a senior designer, website developer and manager with over 15 years experience. Claire works with design agencies, companies and individuals through her company Spurwing Creative.

Andy Partington
Podcast Production

Andy Partington

Swift Professional Audio was founded in 2013 by Andy Partington, after more than twenty years of work at the BBC, to provide professional sound engineering services to the Broadcast Media and other industry sectors.

Content Editor

Diane Strange

Diane read Modern History at the University of Oxford. She went on to do an M4C/AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Leicester, investigating the impact of Wardship on society and family economies during the reign of James I. She has taught on the MA in English Local History at the University of Leicester, and is currently a tutor for the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford. Her research fields are law, politics and society in early modern England, with an emphasis on Wardship.

Vicky Hall

Vicky Hall

Vicky Hall is a well-known character actress from Newcastle-upon-Tyne who has appeared in UK film, theatre and television for over twenty years. Vicky is also an experienced voiceover artist for radio, television, commercials, computer games and audio books. Her agent is Angel & Francis and details of her work can be found here.