Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Pipe Roll Society (12th-13th century)

The aim of the Pipe Roll Society is 'the enlargement of the public knowledge of medieval English history by the publication of the Pipe Rolls and the associated records of medieval English government and of other manuscripts of national importance prior to the year 1350'. Exchequer pipe rolls are the written record of the audit process of the king's accounts for one financial year, which ran from Michaelmas (29 September) to the next Michaelmas. After the very early years, when the Exchequer's terms were usually quite short, by about 1220 the audit process usually began on the day following the closure of one financial year, and lasted between eight and ten months. The earliest surviving pipe roll covers the 1129-1130 financial year.

The Library holds Volumes 1-11 (1884-89), 15-37 (1892-1915) and the New Series from Volume 1 onwards (1925 to date). This includes the Introduction to the Pipe Rolls (Volume 3, 1884) which provides a comprehensive account of how the rolls were created and how to use them, along with an extensive glossary and list of abbreviations. Texts are in Latin but later volumes have extensive introductory and explanatory material in English.