A medieval ‘Lord of the Manor’ title, complete with an entire harbour, sailing club and 800 lucrative boat moorings has gone on sale for £6million.
The huge waterfront site in Bosham, West Sussex, is being put on the market, giving someone the chance to become the first new Lord of Bosham in nearly 100 years.
The impressive 2,230-acre plot takes in a large part of Chichester Harbour and its seabed, the freehold of Bosham Quay and the Old Mill, now home to Bosham Sailing club.
Legend has it that Bosham is where King Canute arrogantly tried to ‘turn back the tide’ 900 years ago, to his embarrassment and that of his courtiers.
It also includes 800 moorings, which yield a healthy annual income from rents and licences of more than £400,000.
The title of the Lordship of the Manor of Bosham has been put up for sale for a staggering £6million and includes an entire harbour in Chichester, West Sussex, Bosham Sailing Club, 800 moorings and the title of Lord of the Manor itself
The lucky bidder will also get the freehold of Bosham Quay and the Old Mill which is now the home of Bosham Sailing Club
The freehold land extends to the foreshore and seabed of Chichester Harbour up to the mean high water mark from the Emsworth Channel to the west of Thorney Island, across to the Bosham Channel (pictured from above)
The plot also includes 800 moorings which yield an annual income from rents and licences of more than £400,000
A map of Bosham and the surrounding area shows the 2,230-acre plot of sea and land included in the £6million sale price
The plot was bought by the world-famous Guinness family after they fell in love with the sailing community there, with Rupert Guinness, the 2nd Earl of Iveagh, acquiring the Lord of the Manor title in the 1920s.
The Burhill Group Ltd, which is owned by the Guinness family, has managed the estate since 1976 and is now putting it on the market for the first time in a century.
At that time both he and other members of the Guinness family were keen yachtsmen and regularly sailed their own boats in Chichester Harbour and the Solent.
What does a Lord of The Manor title mean?
Lord and Lady of the Manor titles are unique property and landowner rights that date back to 14th century Britain and its feudal system.
The title consists of three separate elements: the title, which means the person can call themselves Lord or Lady of the Manor of the specified area; the manorial, which gives them ownership of the land and property within the area; and the seignory, which gives the person the rights to the land.
It means anyone wishing to build on land owned by a Lord or Lady or the Manor, has to get permission from them and usually pay them a fee. If this is rejected, the development cannot go ahead.
The titles can be inherited and unlike other Lord titles, can be inherited by women.
Lord and Lady of the Manor titles normally sell for anything between £5,000 and £10,000, depending on the estate.
They formed strong local connections and since then various family members have either lived or spent much of their summer holidays in Bosham.
The freehold land extends to the foreshore and seabed of Chichester Harbour up to the mean high water mark from the Emsworth Channel to the west of Thorney Island, across to the Bosham Channel.
Ian Froome, a partner with estate agents Vail Williams, said: ‘This is a sound financial investment and the ancient manorial title makes it somewhat of a rarity, so we anticipate keen interest from buyers nationally and internationally, especially because of the Guinness family connection.
‘We anticipate strong interest, both here in the UK and internationally, and we expect offers to exceed £6 million.
‘Manors are of ancient origin dating before Norman times. The owner is entitled to refer to themselves as Lord of the Manor and they can use it on any legal or personal documents.’
He added: ‘Bosham, with its 10th century church and harbour is in an idyllic setting – it is quintessentially English.
‘Chichester Harbour is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is one of the most popular leisure sailing waters in the UK, with ready access to the Solent and the globally renowned yacht racing town of Cowes.’
Colin Mayes, chief executive officer of Burhill Group Limited, said: ‘This is a unique opportunity to acquire assets which have been in the same ownership since the 1920s so are offered for sale for the first time in nearly 100 years.
‘Over recent years the Burhill Group has continuously grown its wider leisure interests and now feels it is time that the future ownership of The Manor would be better suited to a more focused marine property owner.
‘We have been honoured to be custodians of these unique and prestigious assets for nearly 100 years and are now keen to pass these on to a new owner who will protect, and enhance the harbour in years to come, for the benefit of all users.’
An aerial image shows the extent of the 2,230-acre plot, which takes in land and sea, as well as a sailing club and harbour
The late Rupert Guinness, the 2nd Earl of Iveagh, of the famous Guinness family, acquired the Lord of the Manor title back in the 1920s. At that time both he and other members of the Guinness family were keen yachtsmen and regularly sailed their own boats in Chichester Harbour and the Solent
The area has a rich history, with a possible Roman settlement believed to have once existed in Bosham, possibly a residence maintained by Emperor Vespasian (69-79AD).
There is also speculation King Harold was buried in the local Saxon church, having been killed in the Battle of Hastings of 1066.
The village is mentioned by name in the famous Bayeux Tapestry, with Harold, ‘Earl of the English’ riding with his knights to Bosham church before sailing to Normandy.
But this remains unproven as a request to undertake research on the burial chamber in 2004 was denied for fear that the chances of identification of the body were too slim to warrant the disturbance of a burial place.
The medieval village was listed in the Domesday Book as one of the wealthiest manors in England and is pronounced ‘Bozam’.
In the 11th century, it was at Bosham (channel pictured) where King Canute tried to turn back the tide, only to find he couldn’t to the embarrassment of his courtiers