Properties and Estates
The holdings of the Duchy of Lancaster are administered in eight separate units, known as Surveys.
There are five Rural Surveys (Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and Southern), covering 44,748 acres of land in England and Wales. These lands and properties have been acquired by the Duchy over seven centuries, historically through marriage, inheritance, gift and forfeiture. Nowadays, the process is one of purchase and sale.
In addition to its rural assets, the Duchy owns a number of retail, commercial/industrial and business properties. Together these form the Urban Survey. While rural holdings form the majority of the estate in terms of value and area, the commercial assets, particularly those in valuable locations such as central London, make the major contribution to the income of the Duchy.
Including a wide diversity of agricultural, commercial and miscellaneous property, the Foreshore Survey extends from the river Mersey in the south to Barrow-in-Furness in the north. Part of the Duchy’s ancient inheritance, it reflects the former boundary of the County Palatine.
The Minerals Survey extends from South Wales to North Yorkshire and consists of limestone and sandstone quarries, which supply material to the UK construction sector, as well as a mine supplying gypsum to the cement industry. In addition to these active quarries, the Duchy benefits from extensive manorial mineral interests beneath the historic land holdings.