The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend

The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend

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The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend

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The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend was a British television show, hosted by Richard Hammond that recreated elements of the Gunpowder Plot in which Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the House of Lords.

First aired on the ITV Network in 2005, this £1 million programme centres around a reconstruction of the Houses of Parliament as they were in 1605 (the current ones had not yet been built at the time of the Gunpowder Plot), constructed using period equivalent methods wherever possible. This was stocked with mannequins to represent notable commoners, members and the king before the bomb was detonated. The programme was made to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the plot.


The programme explores through partial dramatization the plot itself, and the persons involved. It also answers the question of whether the plot would have actually worked: not only would the Houses of Parliament have been completely obliterated, but most of the windows in nearby Westminster Abbey would have been shattered by the force of the explosion.

The first hurdle to overcome was the actual recreation of the 17th-century Houses of Parliament. As the buildings were demolished to expand the current structures, Simon Carter, the Parliamentary Curator provided drawings of the original structures for the recreated structure to utilise using 650 tonnes of concrete. Explosives expert Dr. Sidney Alford helped to determine that thirty-six barrels containing one metric...
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