Today's Domesday: UK has £338B in property





A mere 921 years after William the Conqueror's original stab at working out what his recently won kingdom was worth, cabinet ministers will have known yesterday what it felt like to be an 11th century peasant as Gordon Brown unveiled New Labour's latest updated version of the Domesday Book.

Back in 1086, it was observed that in England and Wales "there was no single hide nor a yard of land, nor indeed one ox nor one pig which was left out". The Treasury...put a value on everything the state owns [now] and came up with a total of £337,104,120,000 (almost £338bn).

And whereas the original Norman Domesday Book (which valued William's realm at just £73,000) detailed every plough and fish pond, Mr Brown's audit includes the Diana Memorial Fountain (£4m), the 23 photographs by Alfred Steilglitz in the Victoria and Albert Museum (£1.8m)...

Inflation means the Treasury thinks it no longer worth specifying individual assets valued at less than £1m, which means the non-appearance of some of the national treasures included in New Labour's first update of the Domesday book 10 years ago -- such as the apple tree under which Isaac Newton was sitting when he allegedly came up with the laws of gravity.


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