What are Manorial Rights?

Manorial rights in the UK refer to legal rights historically associated with ownership of a manor. A manor was a territorial unit in medieval England that consisted of a lord’s estate and the surrounding land, which was worked by peasants or tenants. Manorial rights originated from the feudal system and were granted to the lord of the manor by the monarch.

While the exact scope of manorial rights can vary, they typically include the following:

  1. Mineral rights: The lord of the manor may have had the right to exploit and extract minerals, such as coal, oil, or metals, from the land within the manor.
  2. Sporting rights: These rights may include hunting, fishing, or shooting game on the manorial land. In some cases, these rights have been separated from the ownership of the land and can be leased or sold independently.
  3. Right to hold fairs and markets: Historically, the lord of the manor had the privilege of holding fairs and markets within the manorial jurisdiction, often accompanied by the right to collect tolls or fees.
  4. Right to land ownership and income: The lord of the manor may have certain residual rights over the land, such as the right to receive rent or other income from tenants or occupiers of the manorial property.

It’s important to note that many manorial rights have been diminished or extinguished over time due to changes in land ownership, legislation, and social developments. The Law of Property Act 1925, for example, abolished some manorial incidents, including the lord’s right to common minerals and wild animals.

From 13 October 2013 this overriding status will cease to apply and purchasers of land that was once affected by these rights will no longer be bound by them if they buy the land after that date and the rights are not registered at the Land Registry.

Manorial rights are a complex area of law, and their existence and extent can vary from place to place. If you have specific questions or concerns about manorial rights associated with a particular property or area, it is advisable to seek legal advice or consult with a specialist in manorial law.

Please note that the information provided is for guidance purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.