Letter: Domesday life on the estates

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The Independent Online
Sir: My family goes back to Domesday Book; I just don't know their names. The ground on which they grew up, underneath the 1930s council estate, does too. Perhaps we, too, would make more of it if London's third airport was nearby.

Churlish then to observe that Anna Brook has it wrong (29 April) when she reports the threat to four Essex Domesday villages. There are no villages in Domesday Book, merely estates. That is why Takeley is listed not once but four times: four estates in the territory called Takeley. The modern nucleated villages are no more a repository of Englishness than any other acre in the country. Medieval peasants also appealed to the state on the basis of their Domesday status, but they always lost. Perhaps Essex villagers, even citing bad history, will do better.

Philip Morgan

History Department

Keele University