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The Crown as squatter


A more than a little unusual Court of Appeal judgment on adverse possession has just been handed down. Roberts v Crown Estate Commissioners [2008] EWCA Civ 98. I won’t go into the details – it involved a challenge to Crown possession of an area of foreshore and river bed of the Severn by the purchaser of an ancient manorial title. The result – the Crown can gain property by adverse possession. ‘The same law of limitation applies to both Crown and citizen’.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. advocatus diaboli

    I haven’t read the case (yet!) so this may well be off the mark, but I thought all foreshore was owned by the crown unless there has been a grant or sale of a stretch of it to someone else (usually a local authority, National Trust, etc). Will go and read the case now I think – very interesting….. AD :-)

    PS Now that I can get back on your blog there’ll be no stopping me!

  2. contact

    Hence the ‘ancient manorial’ ownership based challenge, apparently and unsurprisingly based on Welsh law/lore.

    Even the NT doesn’t get to own the area of shore exposed between high tide line and low tide line, AFAIR.

    Can you get onto the blog from home now? My cup overfloweth.


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