The iconic document was commissioned in 1086 by William the Conqueror following his successful invasion 20 years earlier. Domesday gave the king a picture of his realm by recording the taxable value and resources of all the boroughs and manors in England.
The document will be on loan to Lincoln Castle from its permanent home at The National Archives, London. On display in the Magna Carta Vault from Saturday 27th May to Sunday 3rd September, Domesday will be one of a number of local and national treasures showcased as part of Battles and Dynasties, an exhibition brought together by Lincolnshire County Council, Lord Cormack and the Historic Lincoln Trust.
The name ‘Domesday’ may refer to the Biblical Day of Judgement, or ‘doomsday’, when Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. Just as there will be no appeal on that day against his decisions, so Domesday Book had the final word – there was to be no appeal beyond it as evidence of legal title to land.
For more than 900 years Domesday has been at the very heart of the nation. Historians have argued that Domesday is, the most important and significant document in English history. In this exhibition, it will take its place next to two other historically significant documents: the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest.
The Domesday Book will be included as part of the Lincoln Castle all-inclusive ticket which also includes Magna Carta, the Medieval Wall Walk and the Victorian Prison.