A strip of land at the side of Laxey Co-op is at the centre of a mystery – because no one knows who owns it.
The land gives access to cross the tram lines to reach the church, and now the village commissioners need to find out who owns it before the next stage in the Laxey village regeneration can take place.
But so far the identity of the owner seems to have been lost in the mists of time.
Laxey commissioners’ clerk Pete Burgess said; ‘It’s part of the regeneration phase three to replace the mish mash of different paving with new slabs along New Road from the old Brown’s Cafe to the Co-op.
‘The Department of Infrastructure is drawing up the plans at the moment and it turns out that parcel of land does not appear on either the Manx Electric Railway or the DoI deeds. We have made investigations but so far we’ve only established who doesn’t own it!’
Searches at the land register and at the Manx Museum in Douglas have been inconclusive, but Mr Burgess said it seemed the land was originally part of the mine captain’s estate, forming the grounds to the captain’s house, before the railway was built.
The captain’s house later became the Mines Tavern.
The land could also have been owned by the Dumbell family of Dumbell’s Bank.
When the tramway and viaduct were built, the church was given a right of access over the land and this should be recorded.
However, Mr Burgess said he thought it may have been omitted because of a drafting error.
‘Some residents have spoken to us and we think the land is either MER or DoI,’ he said.