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How and why was the Domesday book made?

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This article offers a new interpretation of the Domesday survey, drawing upon a collaborative study of its earliest surviving manuscript, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3500 (Exon).

It identifies five principal stages: first, the survey was launched at Gloucester in midwinter 1085; secondly, fiscal information extracted from geld assessment lists was integrated with manorial detail supplied by landholders to create a survey organised on a geographical plan by hundred; thirdly, this hundredal recension was checked by a second group of commissioners at meetings of shire courts, generating a substantial corpus of contested matter; fourthly, the hundredal recension was restructured into circuit returns which grouped together and summarised the holdings of barons who held directly from the king; fifthly, Domesday Book itself was written directly from these circuit returns.

Full article at Oxford Academic: Link

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