Since you posted a direct question to me, I will do my best to explain what happens when land becomes liable to compulsory registration so that an application has to be made to Land Registry to have a registered title recorded.
There will be a large number of paper deeds provided showing how ownership of the property has passed from one owner to another.
The legal requirement is that a Root of Title has to be provided by a deed executed at least 15 years before the current conveyance that has just transferred ownership to the new owner making the application for first registration.
Normally the original deeds will go back for a great number of years giving details of each conveyance and mortgage that affected the property to provide clear evidence that the last transfer was made by the legal owner. It would be highly probable that ownership from Lord Stamford onwards could have been provided since that is how unregistered land had to be dealt with. There would be masses of deeds and documents known as the Deed Bundle.
Land Registry will only register a property once all the deeds have been examined and if satisfied with the historical deeds that is when a Land Registry title is issued with a Register of Title and a Title Plan available thereafter.
Any information from the earlier paper deeds that needed to be retained will be copied on to the Register of Title so that the register will record all of the details about the property.
The first part of the Register is the Property Register.
The first entry will identify the Legal Estate that is being registered using a postal address and referencing the title plan.
That is what was shown on the Register for 56, 58 and 60 when title GM86252 was issued.
The next item on the Property Register will record any Legal Interest over land that is the second property right recognized in Section 1 Law of Property Act 19251 (12.10.1976) The Freehold land shown edged with red on the plan of the
above Title filed at the Registry and being 56, 58 and 60 Waterton
For GM86252 this was recorded:
Item 3 confirms that in May 1991 an area of land was transferred out of the title, while item 4 confirms that there are rights that still exist for the benefit of house number 60 on the retained land. That is a second Legal Interest over land that is within the title for GM86252.2 The land has the benefit of a right of way over the yard on the north
side of 54 Waterton Lane with or without animals and vehicles
All of that information would have been established by a Land Registry official looking at all the old deeds and transcribing the relevant grants and reservations.
The first entry on the Register showed that First Registration happened on 12th November 1976 when the new owner was Frank Johnson.
That meant that a paper deed prior to that date had shown that there had been a grant of the right of way over No.54.
Once first registration is completed all the paper deeds are returned to the solicitor who made the application for first registration.
An Official Copy of the Registry and Title plan is then the sole legal deed that confirms ownership and what rights have been granted to the Legal Estate identified in item 1 of the Property Register.
It is now common practice that once registration is completed the original paper deeds are disposed of because everything has been recorded on the Register of Title by Land Registry, although personally I never let that happen because I found it so interesting to read the paper deeds to try and understand the history of the property I was buying.
I am explaining that because even if the paper deeds have been retained by the Johnson family, they are private documents not available for anyone else to look at without the permission of the person holding them.
It may the case that the only document of title you have in your possession is the Register of Title and the Title Plan, but that is sufficient evidence that you are the owner with your name shown in the Proprietorship Register.
If I had been looking to buy one of the houses then the shape of the land to the north of the houses that showed no division between them would have made me investigate whether this was a common road that provided access to the backs of each of the properties.
So many times on this web-site it has been confirmed that when coal deliveries were an essential part of daily life, having a back access road where the coal sheds were located was the most probable reason why there was a common right of way for each of the properties in a terrace of houses.
A coal delivery was made using a horse and cart until such time as it was made using a lorry.
That would always require a vehicular access because a cart or a lorry is a vehicle.
Based on that fact alone that would be enough to make a property professional aware that there would be a very likelihood that a right of way existed over such a back access road.
The fact that you also know that a company owner the houses and the land behind the houses would also make it seem highly likely that vehicles access the land behind by driving over the land to the north of the houses.
After looking at the old-maps web-site I was able to copy parts of the Ordnance Survey maps to see how the buildings looked at various stages in time.
When I used an actual Memorandum dated 1962 that was just an example of how a Memorandum could make no mention of a right of way burdening the retained property when part was sold off.
The available evidence regarding the right of way is found on the Official Register of Title for the three houses.
That is what Land Registry transcribed and any decent solicitor would have spent £6 to see that register and title plan before telling you there is no evidence of a right of way, because it is not mentioned on your own register of title.
In a court case about the re-use of a right of way after a bricked-up doorway in a house wall was re-opened for the first time in 174 years, so that the right of way could be used again, the court ruled that here was no evidence of an intention to abandon the right of way.Wouldn’t the act of building a 3mt wall across the old road extinguish the easement of road access, is this not an act of abandonment?
Please bear that in mind, when you also refer to a barrier between 56 and 58 when those houses are still in common ownership.
I/m unsure what other evidence you need to convince you that a right of way over the back road is a valid legal interest in favour of the neighbouring property at 56, 58 and 60, even though the right for 52 is very probably extinguished now that there is no reason for it.