Historical Boundary Markers

Sep 1, 2021

In this week’s property surveying blog, we are going to be taking a look at Boundary Surveying, Boundary Surveyor’s Reports and Boundary Disputes and looking at historical boundary features that can be located whilst on a boundary site inspection.

As Boundary surveyors, we are appointed to provide our expertise in relation to locating the correct location of a boundary line that separates two or more pieces of land or properties.  

Boundary surveyors will often be appointed to deal with demanding boundary disputes or differences of opinions between property and landowners, in some cases to provide clarity on the matter, in other cases resolving the matter and ultimately putting the respective owners at ease in the knowledge the boundary dispute has been resolved.

When we visit a site, one of the main elements a boundary surveyor will look for would be unchanged or historical features that jump out and catch our attention, as this is a great indication of where the intended boundary between two separate pieces of land should have been.

Similarly, historical features could also be historical features that were part of the original build, however, owners may have made adjustments that may have hindered the original feature.

So what are historic features?

Historical features are features or sectors of a building that would have been constructed during the interim build of the property. Thus making these elements “original” or “historical”, however, through the lifespan of the property it may have been adjusted, destroyed, or covered.

It would be down to a boundary surveyor’s competence to identify these indicators and to extrapolate the information to assist their determination.

Historic features which could assist in determining the boundary separating two properties could consist of the following:

  • Brick, Stone, concrete Boundary walls 
  • Steel posts and wire fencing
  • Original Brick paving 
  • Air vents 
  • Window reveals 
  • Chimney stacks 
  • Parapet walls 
  • Fences 
  • Fence posta
  • Bay windows 
  • Broken or remains or traces of old structures cemented into the concrete.

Above are some of the key factors that a boundary surveyor would look for when carrying out an inspection. These features wouldn’t have changed throughout the duration of the property’s life. These will all aid to the boundary surveyor’s assessment and conclusion of their investigation. Small details such as these can very much affect the outcome of a case. 

If for any reason the original or historic elements to a building or land happen to have changed, a boundary surveyor would strive to locate at the very least some traces of any leftover DNA in order to help reallocate the correct location of the disputed boundary. However, as the site inspection is only 50% of the procedure, if nothing prominent is discovered on-site, the rest will generally boil down to the findings from the desktop research which would involve the combination of the following:

  • Title deeds
  • Title plans
  • Planning records
  • Conveyance deeds
  • Mortgages
  • Sale particulars  
  • Historic Maps
  • Photographs

Boundary surveying and boundary determination can be a complex matter at the best of times, here at Stokemont we have dealt with straight forward and simple boundaries, however also highly complicated and complex matters.

With all boundaries surveying reports and instructions that we undertake, we always ensure that we approach them impartially and taking into account all of the information that our surveyors are able to locate and access.

In many cases the outcome of the report will be a combination of both the on site inspection and investigation, as well as the desktop research and historic information that we’re able to locate.

With the technological advances and benefits that the internet gives us, in many cases we’re able to locate a vast array of information that can not only greatly inform our surveys, but also help our surveyors in reaching reasoned assessments on where the boundary should be.

If you would like to discuss boundary surveying with our team of boundary surveyors give us a call today and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.