There are big changes afoot in the Land Registry which could see the loss rights that have been in place for over a thousand years.

Nothing demonstrates the hold that the middle ages have over the modern day law of England and Wales more than manorial rights.

Profits a Prendre and appurtenant rights still strike fear in the heart of law students to this day, despite the origins of these concepts being at least as early as the feudal system of medieval times, if not earlier.

In fact to understand what these rights are we must have a basic grip of feudalism, the triangle with the King on top, lording over his Barons, lording over Squires etc down to the serfs and slaves at the bottom.

This system was all about land. Who owned it, who used it, who paid rent to who. It gripped the Land Law of England and Wales long after the rise of the middle and professional classes who made a living unconnected to the land, and hence broke the concept of feudalism apart.

Rather than being remote concepts however, even if you don’t own land, there is a decent chance that you have witnessed to use of a manorial right or may have used one yourself.

The most often seen in this area is the right of grazing of common land. There are also rights to cut peat and rights to fish and other sporting rights which the user has over land he does not own, Common land. Common land is owned by the Lord of the Manor. Hence the term “Manorial Rights”.

Until this year these rights have been automatically protected even if unregistered. However, in order to protect your Manorial Rights they must be registered at the Land Registry by October 2013.

If you think you may own land which has Manorial Rights attached, but that those rights are unregistered in the Land Registry, then contact us urgently for advice.


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