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Brief History

The Boldon Book

As many people know, the famous Domesday Book of 1086 does not cover English lands north of the River Tees. For whatever reason – be it that the area had been ‘wasted’ by the Normans in previous years, or, more likely, that the region was considered ungovernable – the surveyors

studiously avoided the present-day counties of Northumberland and Durham when the most famous manuscript in English history was compiled 900+ years ago.

King William I was happy to let the infamous Prince Bishops of Durham get on with it up here, it seems. And they were pretty powerful men in their day. Perhaps the most famous of them, Hugh de Pudsey, considered himself so important, in fact, that he commissioned a ‘Domesday Book’ of his own in 1183 – a work that came to be known as ‘The Boldon Book’.