Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population, according to new data that penetrates the traditional secrecy surrounding land ownership in the country.
Guy Shrubsole, author of the book Who Owns England?, estimates that “the aristocracy and gentry still own around 30% of England.” Shrubsole estimates another 18% of England is owned by corporations.
Though the findings are most likely an underestimate, as the owners of 17% of England and Wales remain undeclared on the Land Registry, and these owners are likely to have owned the property since before the Land Registry began keeping records.
Shrubsole argues that the findings show an astonishingly unequal picture that has not changed for centuries. “Most people remain unaware of quite how much land is owned by so few,” he adds, “A few thousand dukes, baronets and country squires own far more land than all of middle England put together.”
The findings are drawn from a combination of public maps and data released through the Freedom of Information Act.
Prominent on the list are estates owned by the Duke of Buccleuch, the Duke of Bedford, and the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort.