A PARISH council has landed itself in hot water over its use of an archaic title.
Holme Valley Parish Council recently announced it was auctioning off 13 of the 26 pieces of green belt land it had registered with the Land Registry.
The plots, mostly old quarries, are going under the hammer on December 1 at The Huntsman Inn, Holmfirth following years of work to clarify their ownership.
Cash generated from the sale will go the parish council’s Graveship of Holme Land Charity, to be spent on community projects.
But now local man Arthur Quarmby, who holds the ancient title Constable of the Graveship of Holme, has hit out at the move.
Mr Quarmby, who was elected and sworn into the role more than 30-years-ago, has spoken out over the council’s use of the name and the fact that he has not been consulted.
He said: “People think I have responsibility for this sale, but it’s nothing to do with me.
“I have been excluded from this exercise.
“I have no authority over these quarries, but I’m the only elected official of the Graveship of Holme.
“I could have saved the council a lot of money because I know things about the graveship that they don’t.
“It’s probably a suitable thing (to sell them) but they are not the proper people to do this.”
Mr Quarmby’s role, which dates back to before the Norman Conquest, allows him to allocate peat digging rights in the seven townships of the Graveship; Austonley, Upperthong, Holme, Cartworth, Hepworth, Wooldale and Fulstone.
And Mr Quarmby said under the 1834 Act of enclosure, 49 small public quarries were allocated to the Surveyor of Highways of the seven townships.
He added: “These quarries were worked at the time, but have since been abandoned and have in several cases been put to other uses, often by neighbouring owners.
“Some have been occupied for so long that the occupants might be able to claim possessory title.”
Clr Charles Kaye, chairman of the Graveship of Holme Land Charity, admitted the name might cause confusion and said a number of people had come forward with issues including rights of way.
There are 13 more 19th century quarries that the council is still deciding what to do with – some are expected to be kept for the benefit of local residents and some could be developed.