Bring out your Deeds

Ref: C3670915

Land ownership is an interesting idea and it has its own customs and laws. This course is concerned with how ideas and concepts of ownership have developed over time. This is set in the context of the village or manor and the way in which land laws developed will be sketched out and related to example deeds. An set of deeds covering the period 1730 to the early 20th century will be studied. Study of the way in which the deeds themselves were produced will also take place. Students will be encouraged to appreciate, treasure and conserve any sets of deeds in their ownership.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

The course gives students an appreciation of old deeds as sources of historical knowledge. The background history of land ownership and law is presented. Students are encouraged to bring their own deeds (or copies) to class for study and discussion.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand how land law developed through the ages
  • Be able to relate instances of land deed to the relevant underlying laws
  • Have an ability to read old deeds and understand their historical importance

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The tutor may recommend some preliminary activities such as hunting down relevant documentation

What can I do next?

  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Possibility of carrying out ongoing group or individual local history research

Download full Course information sheet

Bring out your Deeds


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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