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News Our HS2 St James’s Garden time-lapse in BBC series

2 December 2020 Kate

A new BBC series “Britain’s Biggest Dig” delves into the findings from the HS2 excavation at St James’s Gardens, London, and features our time-lapse footage to illustrate the manpower and work involved in such a large-scale project.  

Shown on BBC Two (and on BBC i-Player), this three-part documentary series has interspersed sequences of our time-lapse capture into the first episode to emphasise the scale of the excavation work undertaken. Visually arresting, our footage demonstrates the work of the vast dig team across the country’s largest-ever archaeological project.

Our HS2 St James Garden time-lapse in BBC series
Time-lapse footage from our camera system at St James’s Garden

The BBC series has been filmed at St James’s Gardens for the past three years. It documents the detailed excavation work involved and the exciting finds unearthed at the site, revealing forgotten stories of the rich and poor of Georgian London.

We too have been capturing the major excavation works at St James’s Garden, with our camera systems in situ since the start of work in July 2018. From the beginning of the project, we have worked closely with HS2 and contractors CS-JV (a Costain-Skanska joint venture) to capture both the assemblage of the ‘encapsulation structure’ and then the extensive dig at the site.

Erecting the encapsulation structure as seen from our camera system

As the site of St James’s Gardens will be used as part of the large expansion of Euston, what was previously a burial ground for the parish of St James’s Piccadilly has had to be carefully excavated, documented, and moved before further work can begin. Due to the garden’s proximity to the major railway hub, the grounds are needed to expand and form the starting terminal of the UK’s high-speed railway HS2.

Britain’s Biggest Dig uses footage from all our camera systems; from those capturing the initial erection of the tent structures, to those focusing on the major excavation works within the structures, emphasising the huge scale of the project.

The archaeological dig at the site is the main focus of the “Britain’s Biggest Dig” series. Anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts and historian Dr Yasmin Khan delve deep into the huge excavations and piece together fascinating finds. They discover the remains of the famous, such as James Christie – founder of Christies auction house – and Captain Matthew Flinders – who was credited for the first circumnavigation of Australia – as well as unveiling stories of those from humbler backgrounds.

Prior to use in this BBC series, our first time-lapse video from St James’s Gardens was picked up by local, national, and international media and news outlets following the stories of the famous remains found on site. The Evening Standard, Huffington Post, and ABC News in Australia have all used our video in conjunction with such news.

Our time-lapse capture at St James’s Gardens is just one of our many HS2 commissions to be spotlighted publicly. Another such example was a specially commissioned edit from our work at Old Oak Common, delivered to both the BBC and HS2 directly within a very tight timeframe, reflecting the skill & commitment of our dedicated editing team and their unique post-production techniques.

We will continue to carefully capture developments at St James’s Gardens, along with wider enabling works across the HS2 sites at Euston. The important work on this particular site is only a small part of the developing HS2 cluster works.

We are proud that our time-lapse continues to provide visual solutions for HS2 as well as other Government-led projects.

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