Price slashed on Lordship after lack of interest

The price of becoming Ottery’s Lord of the Manor has been slashed after a lack of interest in buying the 1,000 year-old title.

The lordship was put on the market last autumn for just over �9,000, but Manorial Auctioneers, who are handling the sale, say the owners have dropped their valuation.

Robert Smith, from the specialist auctioneers, said: “As I advised the seller at the time, the asking price of �9,250 last year was likely to be a bridge too far in the present recession, and so it has proved.

“Had we offered it before the collapse of Northern Rock, the harbinger of the credit crunch, I’m sure it would gone for somewhere between �11,000 and �12,500.”

He confirmed the Ottery title is going back into their catalogue at offers in the region of �8,000.

It was sold out of the Kennaway family 25 years ago, and includes the right to hold a market and fairs in the town, in what was described as ‘a unique opportunity to own a piece of the town’s history’.

The lordship of Ottery was granted by King Edward the Confessor in 1061, and the original royal charter is preserved at the British Museum, and is referenced in the Domesday Book.

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It was eventually bought by Sir John Kennaway, the first Baronet of Ottery St Mary, and passed down through the generations until the fifth Baronet, also named Sir John Kennaway, sold the title in 1986.

Stretching across 10,000 acres, from East to West Hill and six miles from north to south, it is one of the biggest manors in the country.

The new Lords or Ladies of the manor will be able to use the title on their passports, chequebooks, credit cards, and will be eligible for membership of the Manorial Society of Great Britain.

But despite its history nobody was willing to pay the original asking price, and as Mr Smith explained, the recession has reduced the spending power of his core clientele.

He added: “So they are looking for good deals.

“Belatedly, we shall be able to offer them one in Ottery St Mary.”