» submit an item · an event

Councillor Ian Dewey (left) receives the peppercorn from University Chancellor Lord Tugendhat
Councillor Ian Dewey (left) receives the peppercorn from University Chancellor Lord Tugendhat
photo by Nic Delves Broughton, University Photographer

Internal News - 14 November 2007

University hands over its peppercorn rent

The annual ceremony at which the University pays a peppercorn as rent for the land on which the campus is built took place at an evening reception yesterday.

The ceremony dates back to the mid 1960s when the local council agreed to allow some of its land to be used as a site for the new University campus.

Handing over the peppercorn to Councillor Ian Dewey, Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Council, University Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat, said: “Rarely has a peppercorn led to so much.

“In the 1960s the council decided to allow a small academic institution that was having problems finding space in Bristol to site itself on a hill overlooking the city. That institution is now ranked in the top ten in the UK.”

The tradition of paying a peppercorn in rent dates back to a period when peppercorns were considered a valuable commodity.

Today it is used to refer to a minimal amount of rent, but in the arrangement between the University of Bath and the council, an actual peppercorn is still exchanged.