Hodnet & Peplow feature in BBC’s Domesday Reloaded Project

BBC's Domesday ProjectToday (12 May, 2011) the BBC has relaunched its Domesday Project. Nine hundred years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project in 1986. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country, but it soon floundered on the cost of the technology needed to run it.

Schools and community groups had 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 everyday life and what it was like to live, work and play in their community. Unfortunately, the cutting edge technology of the day was soon superseded. The BBC says,

Now 25 years later in our age of the world wide web, digital photography, email and social networking, its time to have a look at those entries again, to bring the project up to date, and perhaps to lay down another layer of local history.

With the help of The National Archives this unique record will be preserved for future generations.

The BBC has now established the Domesday Reloaded website where entries from the 1986 project can be viewed and updated information (photographs, stories and comments) submitted. The deadline for additional material to be added is the end of October this year.

Picture from the BBC's Domesday Project website
A view from the church tower

Two sections (D-Blocks) cover the Parish of Hodnet. There are nineteen reports and three photographs of Hodnet, whilst Peplow has eleven reports with three accompanying pictures. To view the relevant sections click the following links: Hodnet & Peplow.

Items on Hodnet include: Hodnet Village; The Hundred House; Hodnet’s Peal Of 8 Bells; Clubs And Organisations; Hodnet Charities Committee; Commercial – Shops; Garages & Petrol Stations; Inns And Public Houses; Life In A Newsagent’s Shop; Life In A Grocer’s Shop & Group Dwellings. These were compiled by the pupils of Hodnet C.P.School including: Sarah Brookfield age 11, Carol Bennett aged 10, Dietlind Hewitt aged 11, Kathryn Mills age 10, Donna Lea Woollacott age 11, Robert Hopkins age 10, Allen Worrall age 11,  Annabel Ruth Dyson age 11, Louise Ann Fearn age 11, Amanda Davies age 11. The work was done with the help of Mr. A.A.Barnett, Headmaster of the school and Mrs.Barbara Bate, Secretary of the Parish Council.

Image from the BBC's Domesday Project website
Peplow Church in 1986

The accounts of Peplow were collected by the Peplow Ladies and written by Mrs. Elizabeth Downes and Miss Louise Ann Fearn aged 12. They included descriptions of the Area, Dairy Farming, A Day In Life Of A Pig Farmer, Sheep and Arable Farming, Peplow Hall Estate, Our Village Blacksmith and the Working Mens’ Club.

If anything on these items featured on the Domesday Reloaded Project bring back memories for anyone then please tell send your comments to the Hodnet webteam as well as the BBC. We are looking to include accounts of past and present day events around the area in our “Local Life” section. We would especially value hearing from anyone who remembers taking part in the original Domesday project.

In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.

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