Hensall is a village lying at the very extremity of North Yorkshire, approximately eight miles from Selby, and south of the River Aire. Although not a separate ecclesiastical parish until 1855 and created a civil parish only in1866, it can trace its roots back to the Domesday Book in which it is named as Edeshale.
The manuscripts consist of two rolls written in Latin: one of 16 stitched vellum membranes and the other of 5 stitched vellum membranes, each measuring 60 to 80 centimetres in length and 28 centimetres wide. The larger roll comprises the record of 47 courts held between the years 1600 and 1623, with four further courts for 1626, 1633, 1635 and 1639 on the smaller roll. They give a fascinating insight into the structure of land holdings in the manor.