Domesday Book

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The Domesday Book is the record of the great survey ordered by King William I in 1086 to document the people and property of the territory in Great Britain he had conquered twenty years earlier. It was used for legal and taxation purposes until 1522.

Although it is popularly said to have covered the whole of England, there are several parts of the country which do not appear in the book. Scotland's border reached south to the rivers Tees and Ribble in those days, meaning that the current English counties of County Durham and Northumberland do not appear. Parts of Lancashire north of the Ribble are also excluded. London and the then-important Winchester are not recorded either.

Great Domesday and Little Domesday

The Domesday Book is divided into two parts. Great Domesday was not finished in William's lifetime. It covers most of the territory described. Little Domesday covers only a few Eastern counties such as Essex and Norfolk, but goes into much more detail about them.

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