The Pipe Rolls are the most complete set of manorial accounts in the country, dating from 1208/9 almost unbroken to 1710/11. They depict, in the most minute detail, a record of income and expenditure across the Bishop of Winchester's estates across southern England, from Surrey to Somerset and from the Isle of Wight to Oxfordshire - the richest episcopal estate in England.
The UNESCO UK Memory of the World programme highlights documentary heritage of cultural significance specific to the UK and raises awareness across the UK and the world, of some of the UK's exceptional documentary riches by awarding them the globally-recognised Memory of the World Status. The Winchester Pipe Rolls were awarded a coveted place on the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in 2011.
The Pipe Rolls were deposited at Hampshire Record Office in 1959 as part of the Winchester Bishopric Collection. This hugely important series includes 328 documents which cover the accounts of over 60 manors. They have been used extensively by generations of national and international medieval historians, who have long recognised their potential as sources not only for the economic, social and agrarian history of southern England but also for political and building history.
The Pipe Rolls yield a mass of detail that helps historians build a picture of life in medieval times, including crop yields, wages, prices, building construction and even the weather