From the Archives - Domesday Re-visited in 1986 - a BBC Project

 

In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.

  

Schools and community groups surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK and submitted more than 147,819 pages of text articles and 23,225 amateur photos, cataloguing what it was like to live, work and play in their community. This was about documenting everyday life - the ordinary rather than the extraordinary.

 

30+ years later, extracts from the 12 km project block allocated to Stratford sub Castle Primary School that relate directly to our community, make interesting reading. You can read below how local school-children chose to portray this area in 1986 (reproduced here, exactly as originally submitted in upper case/CAPS throughout).

1986 THE VILLAGE

STRATFORD SUB CASTLE IS A SMALL VILLAGE WITHIN THE CITY BOUNDARY OF SALISBURY. II HAS A GARAGE AND A LITTLE SHOP.THERE USED TO BE A PIG FARM BUT NOW THEY HAVE TURNED IT INTO A HOUSING ESTATE. ALTHOUGH I DO NOT LIVE IN STRATFORD SUB CASTLE I AM SURE THE PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN STRATFORD SUB CASTLE AND THEY ARE VERY FRIENDLY. IT IS A LOVELY PART OF THE COUNTRY. THERE IS A RIVER CALLED THE AVON JUST NEAR THE SCHOOL. IT IS LOVELY IN THE SUMMER.IN THE SCHOOL THERE ARE 75 CHILDREN.TEN OF THEM LIVE IN THE VILLAGE. I HAVE BEEN GOING TO THE SCHOOL FOR TWO YEARS AND ONE MONTH. JUST DOWN FROM THE SCHOOL IS THE VILLAGE CHURCH CALLED SAINT LAWRENCE CHURCH. IF YOU WANT TO GO FOR A WALK OR A CYCLE RIDE YOU COULD GO TO STRATFORD SUB CASTLE.

1986 EDUCATION

STRATFORD SUB CASTLE HAS A JUNIOR WITH THREE CLASSES - CLASS ONE, CLASS TWO AND CLASS THREE. ALTOGETHER THERE ARE 76 CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOL. CLASS ONE'S ROOM WAS BUILT IN 1840 AND THE OTHER CLASSES ARE IN A BUILDING WHICH WAS BUILT IN 1972. AT THE AGE OF 11 THE CHILDREN TAKE A TEST TO SEE WHICH SECONDARY SCHOOL THEY SHOULD ATTEND. THEY WOULD EITHER GO TO HIGHBURY BOYS OR ST EDMUNDS GIRLS SCHOOL WHICH ARE SECONDARY MODERN SCHOOLS OR TO SOUTH WILTS GIRLS OR BISHOP WORDSWORTH BOYS WHICH ARE GRAMMAR SHOOLS. A HUNDRED METRES FROM THE JUNIOR SCHOOL IS A PRIVATE NURSERY SCHOOL. IT HAS 24 CHILDREN AND SIX HELPERS. THE BUILDING IS 99 YEARS OLD BUT THE NURSERY SCHOOL HAS BEEN OPEN FOR ONLY ONE YEAR AND IT IS FOR CHILDREN FROM 3 TO 5 YEARS OF AGE.

1986 ENTERTAINMENT

IN SALISBURY THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF ENTERTAINMENT. IN OUR BLOCK WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY FIVE KINDS OF ENTERTAINMENT. THE AMATEUR STUDIO THEATRE PRODUCE SHAKESPEAREAN PLAYS IN THE OPEN AIR AT OLD SARUM. THIS YEAR IT IS THE TEMPEST. AT CHRISTMAS EVERY YEAR OUR SCHOOL PUTS ON A NATIVITY PLAY. SOMETIMES CLASSES JOIN TOGETHER AND PUT ON ONE PLAY BUT SOMETIMES EACH CLASS PUTS ON ONE ON ITS OWN. WE HAVE A CONCERT WHERE THE CLASSES SING THE SONGS THAT HAVE BEEN LEARNED THROUGH THE YEAR. WE ALSO HAVE A FETE WITH BOYS AND GIRLS RACING. IN HUDSON FIELD EVERY YEAR A CIRCUS COMES FOR THREE DAYS. AT FIRST THE ENTRANCE FEE IS ONE POUND BUT THEN IT GOES UP TO THREE POUNDS. INSIDE PEOPLE COME ROUND AND GIVE YOU SWEETS ETC. WHILST THEY DO THIS THE ANIMALS DO THEIR PART.

1986 ECOLOGY

THIS AREA IS MAINLY CHALK DOWNLAND, WIDE SHALLOW VALLEYS AND SLOW-FLOWING STREAMS AND RIVERS. THE AVON FLOWS THROUGH THE VALLEY AND CONTAINS MANY FISH, MAINLY TROUT. THE STREAMS MEANDER THROUGH THE OLD WATER-MEADOWS AND ATTRACT SWANS, HERONS AND DUCKS TO FEED. BLACK-HEADED GULLS FEED HERE IN THE WNTER. MANY COMMON BIRDS NEST IN THE AREA BUT THERE IS NO RECORD OF AY RARE RESIDENT. GREY SQUIRRELS, WEASELS, STOATS,MICE,VOLES AND WATER VOLES ARE COMMON. ELMS USED TO BE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED UNTIL DUTCH ELM DISEASE. NOW THE BEECH IS THE COMMONEST TREE. SYCAMORE,ASH HAZEL,AND ALDER GROW HERE BUT FEW CONIFERS. COMMON WILD FLOWERS ARE PLENTIFUL WITH THE CHALK SOIL BRINGING SEVERAL SPECIES OF WILD ORCHID. IN SPRING THERE ARE COUWSLIPS,PRIMROSES AND BLUEBELLS.

1986 TOURISM

WITHIN THE BLOCK WE HAVE THE OLD CITY OF SALISBURY - OLD SARUM WHICH IS A POPULAR PLACE FOR TOURISTS TO VISIT. IT IS VERY CLOSE TO THE CITY AND IS ON AN EASY ROUTE FOR WALKING FROM THE CENTRE OF THE CITY. LOCAL BUS COMPANIES HVE FREQUENT SERVICES TO THE SITE. THE RIVER AVON FLOWS THROUGH THE BLOCK AND ALTHOUGH MUCH OF ITS LENGTH IS CONTROLLED BY PRIVATE FISHING CLUBS DAY LICENCES CAN BE PURCHASED AND GOOD FISHING IS AVAILABLE. THE SITE OF THE ELECTIONS WHEN OLD SARUM WAS A ROTTEN BOROUGH IS MARKED BY A COMMEMMORATIVE STONE AND THIS IS ON A FREQUENTLY USED WALK. THERE ARE SEVERAL OLD HOUSES - SOME THATCHED - AND THE VILLAGE IS ON A PICTURESQUE ROUTE TO STONEHENGE. THE WILTSHIRE CYCLEWAY IS ROUTED THROUGH THE VILLAGE AND THE WOODFORD VALLEY.

1986 CLUBS

THERE ARE FIVE CLUBS IN OUR BLOCK. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE NO SCOUT OR GUIDE TROOPS IN THE AREA THE CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO ATTEND SCOUTS AND GUIDES IN SALISBURY. THERE IS THE DORSET GLIDING CLUB AND THE PTA (PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION). THE PTA TAKE THE MONEY FROM SCHOOL FETES ETC AND USE IT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOL. THE RUGBY CLUB MOSTLY USE HUDSONS FIELD AS THEIR PLAYING GROUNDS BUT SOMETIMES THEY USE SOME FIELDS AT OLD SARUM AIRFIELD. THE GLIDING CLUB USES THE OLD SARUM AIRFIELD AS THEIR BASE. THEY HAVE 170 MEMBERS WITH 5 GLIDERS AND ONE TOW PLANE FOR THE GLIDERS. THE CLUB HAS BEEN GOING FOR A SURPRISING FOUR YEARS IN SALISBURY. THEY HAVE HAD ONLY A FEW MINOR ACCIDENTS.

1986 ATTITUDES

A SURVEY WAS CARRIED OUT BY THE CHILDREN OF THE SCHOOL TO DISCOVER WHAT THE RESIDENTS OF OUR BLOCK THOUGHT OF LIFE HERE AT THIS TIME. ALMOST ALL OF THE RESIDENTS LIKED LIVING IN THE AREA BECAUSE OF ITS RURAL SETTING WHILST STILL BEING CLOSE TO THE CITY OF SALISBURY. THE POOR BUS SERVICE THROUGH STRATFORD SUB CASTLE AND THE LACK OF A PUBLIC HOUSE IN THE VILLAGE DETRACTED SOMEWHAT FROM THE ENJOYMENT OF LIVING HERE. MOST OF THE RESIDENTS DID THEIR MAJOR SHOPPING IN THE SUPERMARKETS OF THE CITY AND VERY FEW OF THEM SHOPPED AT THE VILLAGE SHOP. THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO SUB-POST OFFICE IN THE SHOP WAS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR THIS. ALMOST ALL THE RESIDENTS TAKE A DAILY PAPER AND THE TELEGRAPH AND MAIL ARE THE MOST POPULAR. MOST OF THOSE QUESTIONED HAD HOBBIES.

1986 RELIGION

ST LAWRENCE CHURCH IN STRATFORD SUB CASTLE WAS BUILT IN 1326 BY ROBERT PETYT. THE ORGAN WAS BUILT IN 1876. ONE OF THE BELLS IS INSCRIBED PRAISE GOD IW 1588. IN THE YEAR 1582 PART OF THE ROOF WAS RETILED. THE CLOCK IS INSCRIBED I BLAKE E W RANDELL MDCCLXV11. THE CLOCK WHICH HAS ONLY ONE HAND WAS INSTALLED IN 1767. THE PULPIT WAS MADE IN 1608 AND WAS SAID TO BE ONE OF THE FINEST IN THE COUNTRY. THE VICAR OF THE PARISH IS DR. J. GOSLING. DR. VALLENDER IS THE ORGANIST. THERE ARE GRAVES OF A LARGE NUMBER OF COMMONWEALTH SOLDIERS IN THE CHURCHYARD. MOST OF THEM DIED IN THE ISOLATION HOSPITAL DURING THE YEAR 1915. THE CHURCH HOLDS SERVICES EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AND EVERY MONTH THERE IS A SERVICE IN THE EVENING. THERE IS NO MOTHERS UNION ATTACHED TO THE CHURCH.

1986 FARMING

IN OUR 12KM BLOCK WE HAVE THREE FARMS. ON MISS COGGAN'S FARM WHERE MR COGGAN WORKS THERE ARE 104 CATTLE WHICH ARE MAINLY HEREFORDS, CHAROLLAIS AND FRIESIAN CROSS. THIS FARM HAS 118 ACRES OF JUST GRASS WHICH IS USED FOR HAY AND FOR GRAZING FOR THE CATTLE. THE SECOND FARM WE HAVE IN OUR BLOCK IS OWNED BY THE EARL OF CHICHISTER. IT HAS 1800 ACRES OF WHICH 1200 ACRES ARE CORN AND 600 ACRES GRASS. THE CORN GROWN IS BARLEY,SPRING BARLEY AND WINTER WHEAT. THE THIRD FARM WE HAVE IN OUR BLOCK IS OWNED BY WLTS COUTNY COUNCIL. MR FEARN WORKS ON THIS FARM. THE FARM COMPRISES APPROXIMATELY 125 ACRES OF WHICH 10 ACRES ARE USED FOR MAIZE AND THE REST FOR GRASS FOR GRAZING. THIS FARM IS A DAIRY FARM. EVERY DAY AT ABOUT 6 AM AND 4 PM, MR FEARN GOES AND MILKS THE 50 COWS. MOST OF THE COWS ARE FRIESIANS.

Source: BBC Website
 

Here is a link to an article on the village website about the presentation of the Domesday book to William the Conquerer at Old Sarum in 1086.

The website is updated regularlyDon't miss these latest additions / revisions 

 

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