Surveying the Domesday Book [Paperback]

Simon Keith (Author)

ISBN: 9781914427107 | Published by: Windgather Press | Year of Publication: 2022 | Language: English 168p, H246 x W185 (mm)

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Surveying the Domesday Book


The Domesday Book, commissioned in December 1085 by order of William The Conqueror, is generally thought to have been used to assess wealth and assets to collect taxes, and represents an incredible wealth of information on land-use, local economies, and even land disputes between neighbours.

This innovative analysis of the Domesday book from the perspective of a professional land surveyor and valuer aims to calculate a timetable for its creation, along with analysing the survey’s purpose, the nature of the data collected, and how it was used. By reverse-engineering the survey, Simon Keith proposes that while the document was an outstanding administrative success as a survey, it was in fact a fiscal failure which was never used directly to collect any taxes.

This fascinating study examines the foundation of the well-established, successful and sophisticated hidage assessments upon which the Domesday book was built, discusses the likely timeline of the survey, and examines the logistical problems which are universal to surveyors throughout history.

Table of Contents

List of tables, figures and boxes
Glossary of terms
1. A surveyor’s perspective
2. Why was the Domesday Survey undertaken?
3. What does Domesday record?
4. Valuation
5. The Boroughs
6. The logistics
7. Conclusions
Appendix A. Agricultural & estate management in the 11th century
Appendix B. Agricultural labour and the Domesday survey
Appendix C. Agriculture, Livestock and Land Use
Appendix D. Landholders and totals
Appendix E. Cornish comparison
Appendix F. Capital sales evidence
Appendix G. Cambridgeshire Shire Reeve Picot’s property empire
Appendix H. Surveying a village

Reviews & Quotes

"I found this book fascinating. It gave me a completely new perspective on the Domesday Book"

Thoroton Society

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