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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Earl loses battle to stay in castle
The earl was originally given four weeks to quit the ancestral home
A peer has lost a High Court battle to live in a historic castle which has been in his family for almost 300 years.

The 9th Earl of Macclesfield, the Rt Hon Richard Timothy George Mansfield Parker, has been given two years' notice to leave Shirburn Castle in Oxfordshire.

The court ruling follows a series of bitter family disputes that began in the mid-80s and culminated with the owners of the castle, Beechwood Estate Company, serving him with a notice to quit in 2002.

Most of the shares in the estate company are owned by other members of the earl's family, including his brother and his uncle.

Family members originally gave Lord Macclesfield and his wife just four weeks to get out of the property, acquired in 1716 by their ancestor Baron Parker of Macclesfield.

The earl had claimed he was entitled to a 50-year lease expiring on his death, which also covered his game dealership and butchery business, The Old Store, in the estate yard.

The company was established by the earl's grandfather, the 7th Earl in 1922.

Court dispute over ancient castle
09 May 02  |  Scotland

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