THE DOMESDAY BOOK

When we researched the history of the parks we went back to the Domesday Book of 1086 – early record of land, people, and who owed what in tax.

Short track featuring Jaydan.

Short track feat Dr Ruth Larsen.

Interview with Dr Ruth Larsen Derby University.
Was the Domesday Book the birth of today’s tax system?
I wouldn’t quite put it like that because there’d been tax before. Really what’s probably closer is describing it as a proper inventory or list of what the monarch owned and had gained. And there’s much historical debate – it’s started off again in recent years – about the nature of the Domesday Book and what the Norman monarchy was trying to get from it.

But the idea that William the Conqueror turned up had one fight and then won is not the case at all. It was a long-term slow war where they were taking over land, particularly in the north of England. It was quite dramatic. It’s what’s called the harrying of the north where they destroyed and killed a lot of people. It’s actually not a very pleasant time in British history at all. 

The Domesday Book is about drawing a line ‘this is what we have now and this is what we’ve got’. It does very much help with taxation and modern tax system take some roots from that. William the Conqueror’s grandson Henry II really settles down modern taxation as well. But it’s part of an ongoing journey….

So it was part of a process really
It’s just a changing of the guard, I would say, as well… it’s just a different Viking settler. So it was a Viking settler from Northern France (William the Conqueror) as opposed to a Viking settler from Denmark (Edward the Confessor).

Lyrics '1086 under the order of the conqueror to see what was owed to the confessor. The Domesday book.

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