Beds, Herts & Bucks

Revisit the BBC's 1986 Domesday project

Verulamium Park in 1986
Image caption A view of St Albans Abbey from Verulamium Park in 1986

In 1986 the BBC launched an ambitious project to record a snapshot of life across the UK for future generations.

To mark the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book, the public were asked to help compile a digital snapshot of where they lived.

One million people took part in BBC Domesday, sending in photographs and articles about where they lived.

Now, 25 years on, people can explore this material on a new web page and are being asked to update it.

It is your chance to discover how the landscape of your village, town or city has changed over the years.

And updating the information could leave a legacy for future generations.

Domesday Reloaded

The BBC Domesday project was one of the most pioneering interactive campaigns of its time.

Those who took part, surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK, submitted 147,819 pages of articles and 23,225 photos.

The data was digitally etched onto two laser discs.

But technology was changing rapidly and the costs of running the project escalated so it fell into disuse.

Now the rarely-seen community disc archive has been republished onto a dedicated website, Domesday Reloaded.

You can log on to find out more information and to update details from 16 May 2011.

Domesday in Beds, Herts and Bucks

Beds, Herts and Bucks were covered extensively in the project so residents will be able to look up where they live to see what, if anything, has changed.

Image caption The only difference 25 years later is the white hypocaust building in the distance

For example, Verulamium Park was described as one of the most popular recreational areas in St Albans, with two lakes plus cricket and football pitches and tennis courts.

The site reveals how the park covers what used to be the old Roman city of Verulamium and parts of the wall of that city can still be seen there, while the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban overlooks it.

From our picture, you can see that little has changed, except it can just be made out that a building has been erected to cover the 1800-year-old Roman hypocaust. This information can now be updated on the Domesday Reloaded site.

To find out more visit Verulamium Park on the Domesday site.

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