The pipe rolls are the annual accounts of debts and payments maintained by the Exchequer. The pipe rolls is the earliest series of public records: the earliest pipe roll dates from 1129-1130, and they run in an almost unbroken series from 1155 until 1832. They are now housed in The National Archives in Kew, under the record series E 372.

The early pipe rolls were based on the sheriffs' accounts and are full of information about payments made by the Crown, payments made to the Crown, and debts owed. This can reveal a huge amount about the functioning and resources of medieval government, and how people in the localities interacted with it.

The Pipe Roll Society has published editions of many of the pipe rolls - please see the publications page. Editions are available at a discounted rate for members of the Society; see joining details here.

Please use the menu on the left to navigate the introduction, which was produced by Dr Richard Cassidy. To cite it, please use the following template:

R. Cassidy, 'Sheriff's expenditure', in An introduction to pipe rolls, available on the Pipe Roll Society website at (accessed 29 Nov 2018).