Here’s a bird’s-eye view of an 1880 conveyance (click to enlarge):
and here’s the backing sheet:
and here a small extract:
I put a pencil at the top right to show the size.
The parchment was pre-printed with the word ‘Indenture’. The rest was written in hand by a clerk. You can see how important the large words are to orient the reader. You can tell that ‘Whereas’ always refers to preliminary information, whereas ‘Now this Indenture witnesseth’ is the beginning of the operative part, and ‘All that’ precedes the definition of the land being sold (‘All that piece or parcel of land situate in the parish of ..’).
Only the really traditional connecting words are written in a different, italic script, but other words are written larger and darker (Two hundred and fifty ounds, Revoke). ‘Deed’ is capitalized but does not stand out – this is reminiscent of the current capitalization of Claimant, Plaintiff and so on. The red lines on the margin should be completely filled out, to prevent additions. You can see the stamps on the left showing that fees have been paid, and the witnessed signatures below, with a standard red seal on green ribbon.
There are photocopy shops near the Law Courts in London where you can photocopy this size of document, but it isn’t easy to read.
Here’s part of a 1913 document on the same land, now on foolscap paper:
and here a 1921 one, on which you can see the typical sewing of documents with green cord (notice the little squiggles filling up the ends of lines on the right):
and finally, a close-up of some of the signatures on the last one: