Hidden Histories

An exciting film project which takes us back in time to tell the stories of black contribution from the very start of British civilization.

Each episode is 30 minutes long. The filmmaking programme runs all summer and is open to young people aged 16 to 24 only.

You will be supported by research and filmmaking experts to tell these stories accurately and make these films for this and future generations. 

Start date will be announced soon.

Bishops Hadrian and Theodore

England was a land without a cultural or religious identity when the African monk Hadrian arrived from Libya in 670 CE.


Within years, Hadrian and his friend Theodore from Syria helped lay the foundations of English culture.In the year 731, the English historian Monk Beda Venerable wrote about “a man of African descent, perhaps a Berber (Berber), a pioneer of one of the most important cultural movements during the past 1400 years, and a milestone who played an exceptional role in the history of the English language.”


This man was born in North Africa and spent the last 40 years of his life in England and was buried here. He had a beautiful Roman name, Father Hadrian the African.


Septimus Severus, Rome's First African Emperor who strengthened Hadrian's Wall

In AD 193, Lucius Septimius Severus was named ruler of the Roman Empire and in doing so became Rome’s first African Emperor.


After emerging victorious from a period of civil war, Severus expanded the border of the empire to new heights, ushered in a period of imperial transformation and founded a dynasty. 

He made significant gains in Caledonia (modern Scotland) and strengthened Hadrian’s Wall but fell short of his ultimate goal of bringing the whole British island under his rule.


Septimus Severus, Roman emperor who strengthened Hadrian's Wall


The Ivory Bangle Lady is a skeleton found in Sycamore Terrace, York in 1901.

A 2010 research paper studied the skeletal remains of the Ivory Bangle Lady, which were found within a stone coffin. This research showed that the skeleton is of a young adult female, aged 18–23 years.

She was a high-status adult female, potentially of North African descent, who died in York in the 4th century AD. Her skeleton was found with bracelets, pendants, earrings, beads as well as a glass jug and mirror. She appears to have originally been from North Africa. A piece of bone inscribed with the words, “Hail, sister may you live in God” was found with her skeleton.

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Ivory Bangle Lady, An African lady with status and wealth in 4th century AD