The great Domesday Book was compiled by the Normans as a record of who owned what, so that King William could raise taxes. It took 20 years, until 1086 AD, to complete and gives us the first documentary evidence of life in Brook.

The Domesday record reads:  

Compton is listed as a separate settlement having: 1 hide (3 in Tosti’s time) land for 4 ploughs – 1 in demesne, 7 villans and 3 bordars with 2 ploughs and just 1 serf.  It is unclear whether Dunsbury, if it existed at all then, was counted with Brook or Compton. There is no mention of Hulverstone, but again this does not mean it was uninhabited. The Domesday Book counted freeborn men who were the head of a household; serfs were also included in order to raise the tax liability of some households. Multiplying that figure by five gives us a population for Brook of around 95 people, with a further 30 at Compton.

Hides and ploughs are measures of land – a hide was roughly 120 acres, so Brook boundaries covered around 360 acres. A ‘plough’ was the same size but specifically arable land.  While villans, bordars and serfs all ‘belonged’ to the lord of the manor, villans were the wealthiest and typically owned between 20 and 40 acres of land, working for the manor two or three days a week and for themselves the rest of the time. Bordars might only own 10 or 20 acres. Some authorities suggest bordars lived on the outskirts of settlements and had assart rights in the woods (the ability to clear woodland and create arable or pasture land). Serfs were usually landless.