This series contains the oldest of the public records, the two volumes which comprise Domesday Book, which were formerly in the Exchequer Treasury of Receipt.
The larger, Great Domesday, is the digest of the survey ordered by William I at Gloucester at Christmas 1085. Little Domesday is the draft, uncondensed survey for Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. Together the two volumes cover the whole of England except for Northumberland and County Durham; parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire are also omitted.
Domesday Book is a fiscal inventory noting taxable values; a feudal statement revealing the structure of estates within each county; and a legal record establishing which tenant rightfully held estates.
Other pieces in the series are the chest in which the books are thought to have been kept in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries; Tudor and later covers removed during the several re-bindings of the volumes; and a tracing made by Abraham Farley of one of the Surrey folios.
Please note: Digital copies of these records can be downloaded.