Four lordships up for grabs in Suffolk

Thursday, November 6, 2003
6.05 AM

YOU don't have to be to the manor born to be a manorial lord according to the Manorioral Society.

And four lordships in Suffolk will be to the manor bought, when property consultants, Strutt and Parker put them under the hammer at the end of the November.

YOU don't have to be to the manor born to be a manorial lord according to the Manorioral Society.

And four lordships in Suffolk will be to the manor bought, when property consultants, Strutt and Parker put them under the hammer at the end of the November.

Anyone can become a Lord of Lady of the Manor of Sweffling Campsey Cum Snape Campsey, Friston in the Hundred Blomsgate, Snape in the Hundred of Blomsgate or Aldeburgh in the Hundred of Blomsgate – as long as they have enough cash.

And a large sum of money will be needed if the Lordship of Stratford-upon-Avon is anything to go by – ten years ago computer giant Peter Norton paid £110,000 to be manorial lord of Shakepeare's birthplace.

Stratford may be a literary haven but Suffolk's manors are steeped in their own compelling history.

The Manor of Friston, for example, was granted to Cardinal Wolsey by Henry VIII, to assist with his educational scheme.

And the Domesday Book of 1086 identifies two manors within Snape and one within Sweffling.

You don't have to be a historian or a peer to buy a manorial lordship though, Robert Smith, spokesman for the Manorial Society said: "These lordships are for those that already have everything they want and they seem the obvious thing to have – there is also a sense of tradition attached.

"Manorial lordships are usually bought by the owner of the local manor house or rectory.

"I don't look at it as an investment its just good fun."

Celebrities who have bought titles include Chris Eubank who bought the Lordship of the Manor of Brighton in 1996 for £45,000 and Russell Grant the astrologer is Lord of the Manor of Ashford.

Feudal titles are, in the main, sold by members of the aristocracy and although they give their owners the right to be called Lord or Lady of the Manor, there is a huge distinction between this and a peerage.

Lords of the Manor do not have the right to call themselves Lord or Lady, they must affix "of the Manor."

They also have no right to a coat of arms or to sit in the House of Lords and they can not get their passport changed to reflect their purchase.

It is also rare that Manorial Lordships are sold with any substantial land but there may be other rights attached such as the right to hold a fair or to fish.

Information of such privileges will be available at the Strutt and Parker auction on November, 26.

It will take place at Ironmongers Hall in the Barbican, London, beginning at 2pm.