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The Domesday Survey is one of the most significant events in British history. The final book produced by the survey contained information from all over the Kingdom of England at the time of William I, King of England, Duke of Normandy.

This article outlines the Domesday Book's relationship with the county, plus some other information that may be useful to any historian researching the survey.

A Brief Explanation of the Survey
Every year, His Majesty King William I held three meetings with his nobles and barons. They were held as follows:
  • Easter: Winchester
  • Whitsuntide: Westminster
  • Christmas: Gloucester

In 1085, during the Council of Gloucester, William made one of the most important decisions of his reign. He ordered the writing of the Domesday Book. It was to be a comprehensive list of all lands held in England.

The reason for this order was simple: the new monarch was hungry for funds: taxes from his new country. He wanted to know exactly how much his tax collectors should be delivering into the the Royal coffers.


By Thomas J Williams

Organisation of the of Survey
The country was split into 7 circuits. Which were, in turn, each split into several shires. Below is a list of the circuits and shires included in the Domesday Book: