Domesday Book

The Domesday Book was written on 900 sheep skin pieces of parchment

Writing was hard work. Each letter of each word had to be perfectly shaped, to make it easy to read. For the most part the scribe who wrote Great Domesday was very careful, but with so much to do and so quickly he made quite a few mistakes and was a bit messy in places. Beware! You may think that the scribe made lots of mistakes and crossed them out in red ink but they are not mistakes. Wherever you see a word crossed out in red, the scribe was highlighting the word. This method of highlighting words is called rubrication.

Writing Tools
The scribe wrote with a pen made out a quill (a goose feather most likely). These quills had a tip that was broad and slanted like a chisel's blade.

In the Middle Ages ink was made out of the juices of plants, leaves and roots. The ink used in the Domesday Book was made from oak galls. These are little brown growths on oak trees caused by insects or fungus. The ink would have dried to a black colour, but over the years it has turned brown. The scribe also used red ink. This was made from red lead. The red ink was used for headings or to underline names or important pieces of information. Before writing on the pages the scribe had to rule each line of the page.