18 Facts About Domesday Book


Domesday Book – the Middle English spelling of "Doomsday Book" – is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of William I, known as William the Conqueror.

FactSnippet No. 955,084

Domesday Book was first printed in full in 1783; and in 2011 the Open Domesday Book site made the manuscript available online.

FactSnippet No. 955,085

Domesday Book is an invaluable primary source for modern historians and historical economists.

FactSnippet No. 955,086

Domesday Book encompasses two independent works : "Little Domesday", and "Great Domesday" .

FactSnippet No. 955,087

Domesday Book was thus the ultimate overlord, and even the greatest magnate could do no more than "hold" land from him as a tenant under one of the various contracts of feudal land tenure.

FactSnippet No. 955,088

Apart from the wholly rural portions, which constitute its bulk, Domesday Book contains entries of interest concerning most of the towns, which were probably made because of their bearing on the fiscal rights of the crown therein.

FactSnippet No. 955,089

However, the form "the Domesday Book" is found in both academic and non-academic contexts.

FactSnippet No. 955,090

Domesday Book believes the latter was completed, if not started, by William II following his assumption of the English throne; William II quashed a rebellion that followed and was based on, though not consequent on, the findings of the inquest.

FactSnippet No. 955,091

The Exon Domesday Book covers Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and one manor of Wiltshire.

FactSnippet No. 955,092

Domesday Book'storians believe the survey was to aid William in establishing certainty and a definitive reference point as to property holdings across the nation, in case such evidence was needed in disputes over Crown ownership.

FactSnippet No. 955,093

The great bulk of Domesday Book is devoted to the somewhat arid details of the assessment and valuation of rural estates, which were as yet the only important source of national wealth.

FactSnippet No. 955,094

The use of the word antecessor in the Domesday Book is used for the former holders of the lands under Edward, and who had been dispossessed by their new owners.

FactSnippet No. 955,095

Domesday Book was preserved from the late 11th to the beginning of the 13th centuries in the royal Treasury at Winchester .

FactSnippet No. 955,096

Little Domesday Book was rebound in 1320, its older oak boards being re-used.

FactSnippet No. 955,097

On this last occasion Great Domesday Book was divided into two physical volumes, and Little Domesday Book into three volumes.

FactSnippet No. 955,098

Project to publish Domesday was begun by the government in 1773, and the book appeared in two volumes in 1783, set in "record type" to produce a partial-facsimile of the manuscript.

FactSnippet No. 955,099

Today, Domesday Book is available in numerous editions, usually separated by county and available with other local history resources.

FactSnippet No. 955,100

Domesday Book is critical to understanding the period in which it was written.

FactSnippet No. 955,101