08 December 2009

Rent day

Every year, a strange and very ancient ceremony is enacted at the High Court on the Strand. Called the Horseshoe and Faggott Cutting Ceremony, it recreates the payment due for rent on two pieces of land. For the first, the City Solicitor presents two hazel rods to the Queen's Remembrancer, who replies 'Good service,', which settles the rent on the Moors at Eardington in Shropshire. Then a second payment is made in the form of six horseshoes and 61 nails, to which the Remembrancer replies 'Good number'. This is the rent for the piece of land on which Australia House now stands. It is not a public ceremony, though one can apply to watch; and no-one is entirely sure if the rent paid is the right amount, as it was all rather a long time ago.

- Jo Swinnerton, The London Companion, 2004

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