Wales will let you lord it for just Pounds 30,000

June 23, 2000

Social climbers with up to Pounds 30,000 to spare are being offered the chance to impress their friends with a bona fide aristocratic title in a money-making scheme being run by the University of Wales.

Next month Phillips International will auction 13 "lord of the manor" titles, each with the promise of a coat of arms but with no land, on behalf of the university. The titles, which include the Manor of Bangor, are expected to fetch anything between Pounds 2,500 and Pounds 30,000.

Adverts have been placed in The Times, The Daily Telegraph and specialist publications in the United States.

The titles and accompanying land were inherited from the Church of Wales following its disestablishment in 1914 when the university became trustee of the church's estate. The proceeds will go to the university itself, the four university colleges in Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea and to the National Library of Wales.

The auction on July 6 will be the fourth and last to be held by the university since 1984. Thirty titles have previously been sold for an estimated Pounds 200,000. Buyers have varied from "peers of the realm to a local chip-shop owner", said Ian George, university director of finance.

Up for grabs this time are the lordships of the Manor of Bangor and the Manor of the City and Suburbs of St Davids. Owners will be able to call themselves "Lord of the Manor of...", but will not be able to specifically style themselves a Lord.

The university has been selling the land separately.

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