Domesday Book

(1086)

The Domesday Book, commissioned by King William I (William the Conqueror) of England in 1085 and completed a year later, is the popular name given to a census and property register of England. Its formal name at the time was Liber Wintoniensis (Book of Winchester); Winchester was the location of the king's treasury, where the manuscript was stored. The Domesday Book recorded information about landholders and their tenants, the extent of their landholdings, and the number of people who lived on the land. It also detailed the extent of their resources: meadows, woodlands, and farm animals such as sheep and pigs. Further, it documented information such as the number of plows on the land and buildings, including mills, castles, churches, salt houses (where salt used for the preservation of meat was stored), and other structures. In the larger towns, the Domesday Book recorded the number of houses and information about the number of people engaged in trade. As a population...