Friday, July 30, 2021

Who Owns England: "The Marquesses and their 100,000 acres"

There is only one Marquess in the English Peerage the rest are either in the Peerage of the U.K or the Peerage of Great Britain.  I was always under the assumption that the Marquesses were all subsidiary titles for Dukes but apparently not. Be that as it may be, they all seem to have nice houses.

From Who Owns England:

Updated 20th August 2017 with more info on the Marquess of Milford Haven.

England’s Marquesses own nearly 100,000 acres of land and received at least £3.5million in public farm subsidies in 2016, Who Owns England can reveal.

Marquesses are the second-highest rank in the Peerage, below Dukes but above Earls, Viscounts and Barons. There are 34 extant Marquesses in the UK, 14 of whom own land in England (the rest have their estates in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, or else no longer possess lands at all).

These 14 aristocrats possess between them 95,803 acres of estates and farms surrounding large stately homes. Last year, £3,575,200 was paid to them directly or to their companies and trusts, thanks to the UK’s farm subsidy system. Notable Marquessates include:

  • The Marquess of Salisbury, whose 10,300-acre estates are registered offshore in Jersey, as written about on this blog previously;
  • The Marquess of Cholmondeley, the Lord Great Chamberlain (with authority over parts of the Palace of Westminster), who also owns his estates in Norfolk and Cheshire via an offshore company, Mainland Nominees Ltd;
  • The Marquess of Bath, who is the famously eccentric owner of Longleat house and safari park, part of his 9,226-acre estate in Wiltshire;
  • The Marquess of Exeter, whose extensive estate in Lincolnshire and Rutland is owned by the Burghley House Preservation Trust;
  • The Marquess of Milford Haven, whose Great Trippetts Estate in West Sussex appears to be registered offshore in the Turks & Caicos Islands, according to Private Eye’s map of offshore ownership.

It’s been possible to map most of the Marquesses’ estates with the generous help of a local historian who wishes to remain anonymous, who’s been painstakingly digitising maps of aristocratic estates deposited with councils under the Highways Act 1980.

Here are the estates for ten of the Marquesses mapped in Google Maps:....


Other data sources allow us to get closer to a complete picture; for example, here are the (as yet un-digitised) Highways Act s31.6 maps for the Castle Ashby and Compton Wynyates estates owned by the Marquess of Northampton. (Much of his land appears to be registered in the name of wealth managers Rathbones Trust Company Limited, but that’s a story for another time.) And below is the land forming part, or possibly all of, the Marquess of Abergavenny’s estate in East Sussex, as shown on this map of the recipients of Environmental Stewardship payments:.... 


Previous visits to Who Owns England: