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16. NORMAN CENSUS

Having conquered England, William wanted to find how much money he could squeeze out of it.

He started one of the most ambitious tax surveys in history. The gigantic Domesday Book was a record of all the property holdings in the country.

 

17. AND NORMAN CASTLES

And William also built castles all over the country - 85 were put up between the Conquest and 1100 AD.

At Lincoln comes the first report of English people losing their homes for site clearance. 166 homes were demolished so that William could build a fortress.

18. NORMAN LONDON

London was not included in the Domesday Book. But it is reckoned to have had a population of 10,000 people - twice the size of any other town in the kingdom.

It was a place of small wooden houses with thatched roofs. The streets were narrow and sanitation almost non-existent.

Drains ran through the centre of the unpaved roads. There was an almost complete absence of unpaved latrines.

The man who had the unenviable job of cleaning the latrines was called a Gong Fermor. He got paid three times as much as any other worker.

19. ANIMALS IN LONDON

Despite the efforts of the Gong Fermor London remained very dirty. Pigs roamed the street. Dead animals were left to rot. Butchers threw their waste into heaps.

A visitor from Europe remarked on the extraordinary number of kites in the streets of London. These scavenging birds were encouraged to breed. They helped clear up the mess.

Another visitor liked London well enough when he called at the end of the 11th century. But he was appalled at the packs of dogs loose on the streets - so wild that they terrorised passers-by.

20. FIRE! FIRE!

Bad smells and dogs were not the only terrors of old London. Fire was a constant danger.

London has suffered 10 disastrous fires in its history. The first one was in 961 and the last in the 1940 blitz.

A terrible fire, the seventh in its history, blazed in London in 1212. 3000 people out of London's small population are said to have died.

The outbreak galvanised authority into action and the first town planning legislation in Britain was introduced. There were regulations about party walls; all thatched roofs were to be whitewashed and cookshops were to be plastered inside and out.

21. LONDON GROWING

Despite its fires London was growing. In 1174, 100 years after the Conquest, William Fitzstephen wrote proudly about his London of 20,000 souls.

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