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Thursday, May 15, 2008

House Prices and the Eleven Plus

There was a lot of traffic today on the River Thames. Our offices are in a modern industrial park overlooking the Thames.

Back in 1086 Gravesend was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The Domesday Book is a fundamental part of English heritage – and is unique in mediaeval history.

The book was a record of a key period in England’s history. It was recorded by careful lettering by eleventh century scribes.

It was written in an abbreviated form of Latin.

ST KEW. 5h but it paid tax for 2h. Land for 22 ploughs, 8 slaves, 59 villages and 26 smallholders with 20 ploughs & 4h. Formally 60s; value now 40s.

It looks as if all those years ago men and women were struggling with the tax man. It does appear that the value of the estate was somewhat diminished – having dropped from 60s to 40s. The gloom and doom of today’s house price and land fluctuations had roots a long time ago!

I am sure that having access to the records would intrigue and stretch our present day Eleven Plus children.

Today’s Eleven Plus children could be asked: Place the following in order of value to society:

Ipod, television, braces on the teeth or a mobile phone

In the time of the Domesday Book a child could have been asked to place the following in order of value.

Corn fed pig, beehive, wheat or fish.

Instead of answering a collection of trumped up and (sometimes) rather point less questions, surely the Eleven Plus should be demanding thoughtful answers from our children?

Question 1

Under what circumstances can a man owe tax on 5h but only actually pay for 2h? (Off shore funds?)

Question 2

When and why is it justified to keep slaves?

Question 3

If the price of our house and land drops by 50%, who should be to blame?

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