I thought your readers may be interested, or indeed be able to provide some additional information, regarding an unusual charge I recently came across in a title for a property built in the 1970s on Denge Marsh, Kent.
The charge was described in the Charges Register simply as ‘the land is subject to Denge Marsh Scots’. Much bemused by this, I rose to the challenge of carrying out some research and was pleasantly surprised at the wealth of history unearthed. From what I understand, a ‘Scot’ is a tax which got its name from the taxes levied by the English kings to raise funds to fight the Scots. However, in this case, the Scot was levied to raise funds to build flood defences on the marsh.
What keeps the marsh land above water is a network of sewers. Much of the work was carried out in the 15th century when the tax or ‘Scot’ was imposed on the owners of low-lying land. Those lucky enough to live on higher ground escaped the tax, which led to the expression ‘Scot free’.
My research into the Denge Marsh Scot and the area around Romney/Denge Marsh has caught my imagination to such an extent that I have decided to spend a weekend on holiday in the area to bathe in the local culture and history.
Maureen Ross, W. Davies Solicitors, Woking