Last chance for Somerset 'Domesday' exhibition
Monday 20th March 2017
Members of the public have only two weeks to visit a special exhibition at The Museum of Somerset in Taunton before key artefacts are returned to Exeter Cathedral.
Sections of the ‘Exon Domesday’ document (which was created in 1086 as part of a vast survey of England ordered by its Norman conqueror, William I) have been on display since early February and will return to Exeter Cathedral’s Library and Archive after the exhibition closes on Saturday 1st April 2017.
Its 532 parchment pages give a remarkable picture of the landscape and people of the South West at the time the Normans were taking control and include much information that Domesday Book leaves out, including unique accounts of the levying of the geld, the principal royal tax.
“We are deeply grateful to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral for allowing us to display Somerset sections from Exon Domesday,’ Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust, said. “It is an extraordinary document and a unique survival. Without it we would know far less about South West England in those turbulent years of conquest and change.”
In 2011 Exon Domesday was removed from its nineteenth-century binding so that digital photography and detailed study could begin. Since then a major research project by a team from King’s College London and the University of Oxford, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has been uncovering the document’s secrets. One strange and unexplained discovery was the mark of a medieval spearhead imprinted across two of the Somerset pages.