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World’s first national land register turns 400

Posted: 14th December 2016

The world’s oldest national register of land and property will celebrate its 400th anniversary during Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Registers of Scotland (RoS) will celebrate 400 years of Scottish land and property registration during 2017 with a year of commemorative events that highlight the impact of four centuries of land registration in Scotland – and also its influence on the world stage.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 will mark 400 years since the General Register of Sasines was created by the original Scottish Parliament’s Registration Act 1617 and, to commemorate this landmark date, an exciting set of events will take place throughout the year.

Sheenagh Adams, the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said: “Scotland has always been an innovative nation when it comes to the protection of land, property and the rights of the citizen. From the ancient ceremony of sasine to the development of legally-recorded sasine deeds in the 17th century – as seen in hit Amazon Prime television series Outlander – to our current position as a global leader in digital land registration, Registers of Scotland is unique.

“We are delighted to announce our programme of events for our 400th anniversary year, including the 44th Registrars of Title conference, which Scotland will host for the very first time and will bring together land registration leaders from across the globe along with providing a welcome boost to the country’s economy.”

Ms Adams added: “In addition, RoS has commissioned, through an open competition, a unique piece of public art to symbolise our centuries-old commitment to serving the people of Scotland. The artwork, like our registers, will be publicly available to view and will be held for the people of Scotland.

“We are also thrilled to be able to reaffirm the sponsorship of a University of Glasgow student, who is undertaking a research masters degree looking specifically at the privacy and publicity aspects of land registration. A full list of the events to commemorative our 400th anniversary will be unveiled in the New Year.

“Overall, our 400th anniversary enables us to collaborate with other organisations more than ever before, and Registers of Scotland is delighted to support the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The 400th anniversary of the General Register of Sasines, making it the oldest public land register in the world, highlights the opportunity visitors have to discover the rich heritage of Scotland and its place in world history during 2017, the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“History and heritage are among the top reasons visitors cite for exploring the country and 2017 will additionally offer a year-long programme of events that will spotlight some of our greatest assets and icons as well as our hidden gems.”

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