BRHG member Steve Mills introduces:


Indymedia presents: Winstanley (the Diggers and St George’s Hill)
The Cube Microplex, Dove St. South, Bristol,
Monday 7 September 7.30pm
£4 or £3 (but nobody refused for lack of funds)

Winstanley – Andrew Mollo & Kevin Brownlow, UK / 1975 / 95 mins / cert 15

On 1 April 1649, Winstanley and the Diggers set out to form a commune and work the land of St George’s Hill, in an action designed to reclaim land for the poor who had been dispossessed by Cromwell’s recent English Revolution.  Unsurprisingly in a time of great upheaval they meet much opposition, surprisingly some of it from those peasants they seek to enthuse, and their action lasts only a year, although many similar settlements occur elsewhere.  Their story delves into issues relevant then as now – land ownership, class, power and the law, religious puritanism, and hierarchies.

Authentic, exciting and dramatic, with spellbinding black and white camera-work creating a powerful visual experience. The film is rightly judged to be a classic, and is based on the book Comrade Jacob, by David Caute  (1961), who was a former pupil of the great historian and one time communist, Christopher Hill.

Watch out too for the appearance of some genuine 1970’s hippies as ranters! Enjoy.

The film will be introduced by Steve Mills, a local trade union activist and Bristol radical historian.


  1. Christopher Thompson

    The land at St George’s Hill was, in fact, the common land of the local manor, which was essential for the economic survival of the poorer copyholders and day labourers. Their reaction was inevitably a hostile one as Christopher Durston showed more than thirty years ago.

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