Monday, July 13

Andy Garth: Deeds indeed

- August 13, 2018


Last week we had a very successful auction where we sold nearly 250 lots of anything and everything Brighton, Hove and Sussex from bottles to books, pictures to postcards and deeds!

Now deeds seem to be a popular purchase, and for those of you not familiar with them I will now try and explain – in my simplistic way – the attraction.

Deeds are beautifully handwritten documents (although hard to read) that relate to the beginnings of the land and property that confirm first ownership, as wellas all relevant information needed to prove all aspects of the boundaries and uses to that particular house – or as sometimes called ‘messuage’.

The great thing is that from a family history or social history point of view, these documents have it all. But best of all I think they are small works of art that I have seen mounted and framed in offices and private house for all to see.

The more interesting ones will have a plan, handdrawn and coloured, and will more often than not have a wax seal from the solicitor or authority dealing with the site.

The more interesting ones will have a plan, handdrawn and coloured

There are some very old ones out there, but the majority of deeds that we see are mid to late Victorian and the handwritten versions faded out with the invention of the typewriter.


The two displayed are examples from around 1870.

These days they are not necessarily required, but should you want your own house deeds you can check with Land Registry or your solicitor or Building Society.

Most solicitors now prefer to send them back when possible as they can take up storage space.

We have a large collection going into our September sale, so if anyone wants more information please email me at

We are always looking for the weird and wonderful to do with Brighton and Hove, so if you think you have anything let me know.

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