RefNoCA778
TitleSheffield City Council: Resources - Transport and Facilities Management: deeds relating to land and premises in Sheffield (formerly 'The Deeds Registry')
AdminHistoryThe legal ownership of land and property was historically proved by a bundle of old deeds and documents. This is now recorded on a central register at the Land Registry, making proof of ownership clearer.

Sheffield City Council has historically owned various plots of land and buildings across the city, the deeds to which have been stored in The Deeds Registry in the basement of Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone Street.

In 2015, the Council began the process of voluntarily registering its ownership of land and property with the Land Registry. Packages of unregistered deeds and documents were sent to the Land Registry for them to check the chain of ownership and prepare for a first registration. Upon their return, the old prior deeds were no longer required as legal documents and were passed to Sheffield City Archives.

A large quantity of deeds still remain with the Council's Deed Registry (Legal and Admin Department). These relate to land that had already been registered and therefore fell outside the scope of the recent registration project.
DescriptionDeeds and other papers relating to the ownership of land and property by Sheffield City Council. Numbers in parentheses indicate the former number in the Register of Documents.
Glossary of terms:

Deed: a legal document executed under seal.

Title: the ownership of property.

Abstract of title: document showing how the title of a property devolved to the current owner; often a summary of prior ownership listing details of previous deeds.

Bargain and sale: an early form of conveyance.

Chancery: formerly the highest court of the land, to which many cases relating to property were taken.

Hereditament: any kind of property that can be inherited.

Easement: a right or a privilege over property (e.g. a right of way).

Grantor: a transferor of property.

Grantee: one to whom a grant is made.

Mortgage: a loan for the purchase of real property, secured by a lien on the property.

Appurtenance: other 'things' belonging to a property, e.g. yards, gardens, rights etc.

Assignment: a transfer of leasehold land (usually unregistered).

Conveyance: transfer usually of unregistered freehold land.

Covenant: a promise by a land owner to do or, more commonly, not to do something with his land.

Demis: a lease. Land leased for a term of years is said to be 'demised'.

Devise: to give freehold land by will (chattels and leasehold lands are 'bequeathed').

Devisee: someone receiving property from a will.

Freehold (Fee simple): land held forever ('in Fee simple') not restricted to a term of years as in a lease, nor for life. The nearest the law knows to absolute ownership.

Feoffee: a trustee who holds land without specified conditions.

Feoffment: a means of conveying property, technically by a ceremony called livery of seizin.

Lease: when property is 'let' to someone for a fixed period of time it is said to be leased. The person who has bought it is called the lessee and the landlord is called the lessor.

Lease and release: a means of conveying property; a lease was granted for a year, and the following day the lessor or grantor's rights of ownership were released in return for a consideration (payment).

Peppercorn: nominal consideration (payment) in a lease and release.

Schedule of Deeds: a list of deeds and documents.

Incumbrances: things affecting a property e.g. a mortgage or a rent charge.

Indenture: a type of deed which had an 'indented' (wavy) top edge; usually two copies prepared, one to be kept by each party.

Messuage: term used for a property, often a dwelling house.

Moiety: half of a property.

Codicil: addition to a will, signed and sealed by the testator.

Common recovery: a legal 'fiction' by which land could be transferred instead of using a conveyance.

Consideration: usually the purchase money for a property (sometimes the consideration was not a monetary payment).

Copyhold: property held by copy of court roll, i.e. held of a manor.

Probate: the process of establishing that a will is valid.

Quitclaim: deed renouncing any rights or interests in property.

Requisitions on title: questions posed in writing by lawyers to iron out any legal queries relating to a property sale.

Reversion: the return of a leased property to the original owner after the lease has expired.

Tenement: a description of property, usually including a building; a messuage may be divided into two tenements.

Whereas: word which marks the beginning of a recital in a deed.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO): a legal function in the United Kingdom and Ireland that allows certain bodies which need to obtain land or property to do so without the consent of the owner.

Admittance: a copy of the manorial court roll. The technically correct legal term is 'admittance', although by the nineteenth century the word 'admission' was often used in its place, even by stewards of the courts.
Date1571 - 1978
Extentc. 250 boxes
AccessStatusOpen
LevelCollection
RelatedMaterialWest Riding Registry of Deeds
The West Riding Registry of Deeds was established by Act of Parliament in 1704 and operated until September 1970. One of only five Deeds Registries in the country it was created to allow land holders to register the title to their property. The Registry operated across the whole of the West Riding of Yorkshire and contains summaries or memorials of the registered title deeds.

These memorials do not contain all the details of the original but will give the date, the names and addresses of the parties and a brief description of the property. They do not tend to give details of the covenants and frequently do not include a plan.

It was not compulsory to register your title deeds but the majority of people did register them when a transaction lead to a change in ownership. Between 1704 and 1970 some 7 million deeds were registered and indexed. Freehold and Leasehold deeds were registered but it was not possible to register Copyhold land or leases for less than 21 years. As well as title deeds probate documents were also registered to indicate the transfer of title.

Compulsory registration of land in West Yorkshire was introduced in 1974 and all land ownership is now recorded at the Land Registry. You can check the current owner of a piece of land at www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/portal/Property_Search but if it has not changed hands since 1974 you may be referred back to the Registry of Deeds.

Sheffield City Archives:
Peter Harvey, Street Names of Sheffield, Sheaf Publishing: 2001 (HAR/LOCAL)

Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library, Street Names of Central Sheffield, 2011 (STUDY GUIDES/STREETS)

Ruth Harman and John Minnis, Sheffield, Pevsner Architectural Guides: 2004 (HAR/SHE)
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