Definition of pipe roll in English:

pipe roll


  • The annual records of the British Exchequer from the 12th to the 19th century.

    • ‘An exchequer record, a pipe roll, tells almost nothing about those sums which were paid into and out of the chamber.’
    • ‘Its name appears on a pipe roll, a medieval document that records accounts paid to the Government, dating from 1194.’
    • ‘The pipe rolls on which the exchequer entered details of royal revenue and expenditure reveal the pursuit of royal rights being pushed to the limit.’
    • ‘The first surviving pipe roll for the financial year 1129-30 shows how the sheriffs and other royal officials were summoned to account at the Exchequer twice a year, at Easter and Michaelmas.’


Probably so named because subsidiary documents were rolled in pipe form.