Villagers’ legal challenge fails

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A lord of the manor who bought his title for £1 has won a court battle with villagers in Ireby, north Lancashire, over the right to boss them about.

Peter Burton, a former banker, had upset residents by asking them to clean up their properties and not park in front of them after claiming rights dating back to the Domesday Book, the High Court in London was told.

The five-year-long dispute - which turned on 360 acres of fell land at the highest point in Lancashire - pitted five residents of the village against Mr Burton, 61, and his partner, Susan Bamford, who own nearby 17th century manor house, Over Hall.

Erica and Angela Walker, Carole Scott, Edward Mills, and Christopher Balchin, challenged Mr Burton’s title over imposing Ireby Fell - which looms over Mr Burton’s house and which is registered as common land.

Although Mr Burton and his partner had respected walkers’ rights of access to Ireby Fell since taking possession, the five residents insisted he should not be recognised as its proprietor.

:: full story in this week’s Lancaster Guardian.