It is often spoken about as one of England’s finest treasures and the Domesday Book has its place in history as a valid legal document that links titles with land. This remarkable book contains 913 pages and two million Latin words that describe more than 13,000 places in England and parts of Wales. However, it does not cover major British cities such as London and Bristol and certain key places are merely given reference or completely excluded, such as districts in Wales.
Written in the 11th century on the orders of King William I, the Domesday Book is based on the Domesday Survey that describes in remarkable detail, the land-holdings and resources of late 11th-century England. However, it was left unfinished and abandoned when William Rufus succeeded to the throne in 1087.
The etymology of ‘Domesday’ came from God’s final Day of Judgement, when every soul would be assessed with no appeal. This title was eventually accepted by its official curators and recently renamed the ‘National Archives’. The Domesday Book is often used by historians to better understand the origins of their local area and there are several versions available in good libraries.