Preston law firm makes ancient find (UK)

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A collection of ancient documents dating back centuries is being made available by a Lancashire law firm for the first time.

Staff at Napthens, in Winckley Square, Preston, have found documents relating to poor houses established in 1665 while a property deed dating from the 1550s has also been uncovered...

... The poor houses had been established in 1665 by John Osbaldeston, of London, who left £500 in his Will to be invested to help the poor in Leyland. The homes were built in the Cow Lane area of the town, and moved in 1870 to Fox Lane, where they are still occupied.

The find comes after rural business solicitor Andrew Holden uncovered another property deed dating from the 1550s when he was dealing with the sale of some land in Catforth, near Lancaster.

The firm's rural business department head Geoff Tomlinson says they are the oldest documents he has seen in his 30-year career.

Ancient deeds, once recorded with the Land Registry, are no longer needed in their original format, and are often destroyed.

But solicitors at the business say that they "recognise their historic value" and are regularly handing the documents over to the county records office on permanent loan to be catalogued and stored properly.

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