Pugh v Savage [1970]

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Last modified: 12/10/18 Author: In-house law team

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Pugh v Savage [1970] 2 QB 373, CA

Property Law – Easement – Right of Way – Tenancy of Servient Tenement


Pugh was the owner of a farm which included field A. Field A was accessed from the highway along a lane, into a field and across that field into field B. The path also crossed from field A to field C. Fields B and C were leased to Savage. Savage was informed upon taking the lease, that he was entitled to a private right of way over field A, along the lane to the highway. Pugh denied the private right of way for vehicles to gain access to field B and C. One day, Pugh accidentally obstructed the pathway with hedge trimmings. Savage crossed field A to gain access to field B. Pugh sought an injunction and damages for trespass.


Whether the initial right of way granted continued when Savage leased the land.


There was evidence that initially, the owner of field C had the dominant tenement and was able to pass over field B to reach field A, the servient tenement. The original owner of field B had consented to this at the time so there were grounds to establish a right of way. Thus, when Savage became a tenant of the land where there was evidence of a right of way, even if Pugh had no knowledge of the fact Savage was in possession, the grant of the tenancy would not ruin the presumption of a grant or grounds for a claim under the Prescription Act 1832. It would be unreasonable to imply a lost grant by the owner of the servient tenement at the beginning of Savage’s use. The appeal was dismissed and Savage was entitled to a right of way over the land.

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