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Domesday Book 1085-1086 Entry for Rylstone

This entry is taken from 'Open Domesday', the first free online copy of Domesday Book.

The Domesday Book provided the most  comprehensive coverage of the population and  land ownership in this country until the full population census in 1841. Even though the names that appear in the Domesday Book are really only the people who owned land.


According to a contemporary account in the  Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, William took the decision at his Christmas Court in Gloucester, and his men were sent:


'all over England into every shire [to] find out how many hides there were in the shire, what land and cattle the king had himself in the shire, what dues he ought to have in twelve months from the shire. Also he had a record made of how much land his archbishops had, his bishops and his abbots and his earls, and what or how much everyone who was in England had.... So very narrowly did he have it investigated that there was no single hide nor yard of land, nor indeed ... one ox or cow or pig which was left out and not put down in his record, and these records were brought to him afterwards'.

From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, sub anno 1086, as it appears in F. A. Ogg, 'A Source Book of Medieval History' (New York, 1907).


This may be an exaggeration of what actually happened, but it does show how the survey was perceived at the time.


There were two entries for Rylstone, which appear under the following area.

  • Hundred: Craven

  • Area: West Riding

  • County: Yorkshire

  • Total tax assessed: 5.5 geld units (quite large).







  • Taxable units: Taxable value 1.5 geld units.

  • Value:

  • Lord in 1066: Ravenkel.

  • Lord in 1086: Ravenkel.

  • Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Ravenkel.


Geld -  An Anglo-Saxon land tax continued by the Normans.

Hundred - Large administrative subdivision, each having own representative body from local villages, from whom the Domesday commissioners collected information.

Tenant-in-chief - Those landowners who held their land directly from the Crown.

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