Wall, Whitstable, Kent
... And The Stag Cottage
history of this cottage -
how it has been severed in Two.
And the serious
consequences of this affair on the present and previous elderly
this page to gain an overall understanding of the position and
if you are interested...
click on the various links to the history of the tortuous details that have
this peculiar tragi-comic circumstance.
Oyster Fishery Company's men at work.
In a legal
dispute over where
the Company's fishery lands lay, the Court found Stag Cottage
imagine if this had happened to your elderly relative!
The property is shown on the
1840 Tithe map and other maps of similar date.
e x t e n d e d seaward-
into -- 'the fishery'.
A Single Joint Expert in his report to the Court said- he had
'Found' - a Joint,
at the supposed
start point of...
the hypothesised extension. (this, of course, assumes the pre-existence
of an original 'old' gable end)
shows Company workmen preparing for the construction of a wall
up through the house- at the supposed line of the supposed
extension... Mr Bensted, the occupant, looks on... checking progress.
He would not allow access through his portion and so they
(Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company) removed 'their' window to gain access to the rear.
-- Now --
on entering the bathroom there is a wall across the end of the
bath, beyond which and inaccessible
are the WC and wash basin.
It was formerly the storehouse belonging to-
John Deane and William Edwards
(Historical Divers Association
- Dr John Bevan - His Book 'The Infernal Diver')
In 1858 John Deane sold
to Flint & Co, the Canterbury
Brewers, and it became the Stag Public House,
subsequently becoming a private residence shortly after 1900.
in the 20th Century...
The local Oyster Fishery Company
claimed ownership of a 'rear portion' of Stag Cottage as they argued that -
an unsigned copy of a supposed 'agreement'dating from 1860
was for land beneath the cottage's rear end.
The Company claimed that 'Stag' had been extended ...onto
The supposed 'extension' being attached to what existed
evidenced by means of - the alleged
In 1860 ...the Company
owned no land above the High Water Mark (HWM) and
the Stag Pub was over 40 feet inland at that time ( dry ).
In 1861 Lord Chief Justice Erle confirmed...
the Fishery lands were only below HWM or even possibly
Low Water! (
In 1997 the company
lodged an application for Voluntary
Registration at the local Land Registry: the
application included the rear of the Stag. The Occupant of
Stag Cottage Lodged an Objection. The Application
to register was rejected in December 1997 - a new one was lodged
in Jan 1998. Land Registry had indicated they would be in touch
were a new application lodged. However they omitted to do so for
two and a half years whilst they processed that application.
Finally registering to the applicant company ...overruling the
protestations of the occupant of Stag Cottage who had only recently
discovered the new application affecting his house.
The Occupant of
Stag Cottage then sought to rectify the register and protracted
negotiations ensued. It looked as though Land Registry were about
to rectify the position but ...
Unknown to Land Registry, in 2002, the Company had issued
a claim for possession in the County Court: Land Registry then
said they were forced to stand aside.
Occupant was then taken to court
his wife were left the property by the previous occupant, a 96year
old widow, who in the circumstances, faced by the company's title
claim- had not known what else to do, asking, as a condition of
her bequest, that the claim continued to be resisted).
Sadly -The Claim was successful in
(now a widower)
lost Court and
other costs in excess of £30,000... furthermore-
his house is blighted- its value being greatly diminished by the blighter.
The whole claim relied on Plans produced by the Land Registry
were not a correct representation of the Deeds of the respective
Seemingly, of those involved, none properly understood the history,
geography or physical evidence.
also had problems with their compass)
deeds on superficial examination seem to support the Court's
finding, however the words
of the deeds in certain phrases say the opposite of what initially
seems their meaning.
The language is, if you can believe, more refractory
than is the usual in legal writing.
(If Escher had been a lawyer it would have been his style)
The Independent Reviewer criticised Land Registry procedure and
the Registry has paid the occupant £2000...
as well as sending an apology from their Chief Executive Officer
of the Order of the Bath).
Following the 2004 Judgment, the Company entered with
Bailiffs and constructed a plasterboard stud wall up through the
The George III Fishery
Act, 1793, defines the Company's lands as bounded by
claims to title of the land have all cited this as root title.
The line through the cottage claimed by the Company runs through
the upstairs bath,
presumably this was not the location of ...
'High Tide Marks' -envisaged by GeoIII- or any other C.E.O.
the taps are at our end)
a good understanding of the awful position look at the images
In 1978 The Company claimed all
seaward of the mistaken line
despite... their previous 1971 position
just aligned their claim to the erroneous Land Registration plan
In the 1971 first
registration two company agents administered the
sale of -
to the Purchasers - on the basis of 'a plan' appearing to sever
a small portion of the kitchen. The Vendor's solicitor was also
the Company's too... and the estate agent was
not only a Company Director...but
also their Land Agent.
The Plan they created was sent to Land Registry with the Original
Documents. Although Land Registry then Created a different erroneous
plan, the Company Solicitor confirmed that it
was his plan that was to be taken as representing titles.
In my view this was not correct either...
as argued in the 'agreement' link above...
In 1867 land behind the Pub was recorded to be 38ft deep measured
twixt HWM & pub.
In the interval between then and the 1930's, approx 60 years...
MHWM moved closer inland - measuring the 38ft recorded previously
would intersect the house... In the Hearing the Judge did ask whether there
was 38 feet in the Pub ... I suppose one cannot exclude
the possibility of 19 happy sailors...
one possible scenario - that I believe influenced
conveyancing in 1971
others equally banal and equally possible do exist - based on
This '38ft' - if
it was the mechanism, is a miss-understanding of the operation
of the supposed 'agreement'- the true meaning of Sea-beach and
shore and The Root Title 1946 Deed. ( see voluntary registration)
truth no portion of Stag is really on land that did not belong
to ... Flint & Co.
A Stud and
Plasterboard 'Sea Wall' Aug 23 2004
fishery lands in 1860 were bounded by SeaBeach
which at that time was further out than shown in the above...
1976 aerial photo
The stud and plasterboard wall
was built without any of the necessary permissions.
Stag Cottage is in a conservation area and although not nationally
listed is locally, being one of the few mid- Victorian
storehouses still standing.
The wall has been condemned by building
control, not having passed the necessary regulations...
The rear portion has no planning
status, is in a designated flood risk area and therefore has no
likelihood of separate residential use. Permission was sought
by WOF to create a separate dwelling unit but this was withdrawn...
officer recommendation was for refusal on the basis it would unacceptably
affect the domestic amenity of the existing occupied portion.
It is doing so anyway as a result of loss of light, lack of maintenance,
pigeon infestation and all that one would expect from neglect.
Images below taken on 10/4/2013
show how company neglect and actions are affecting the building.
It would seem from
the evidence, when correctly understood, that the Whitstable Oyster
fishery Company's Registration, K781262, is not correctly mapped.
Nor was any party-wall agreement sought.
However, no enforcement action has been attempted.The separate
elements of the wall on different floors are not even in vertical
alignment and there is no real possibility of them passing the
A former director of the Oyster Company characterised the Company's
claims as ridiculous.
A current Director
"...we never thought it would come to this"
We are investigating
all possible means to challenge this desperate
and unjust situation.
content of this site was prepared from some of the available evidence
Any errors of fact or history or argument- or further information
that may be of use
This site is currently
under construction so please revisit soon to see...
whether it has
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