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Many of us will have visited the extraordinary Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves in Torquay over the four generations since 1903 when they have been in the ownership of the Powe family. Managing Director, Nick Powe, currently heads up a team who successfully manage and operate this award winning and thriving business all year round, a team that exceeds 50 staff in high-season.kents Cavern (2).jpg

The Powe family’s history at Kents Cavern dates back to 1865 when Nick’s great, great, grandfather, George Smerdon, was employed as the foreman of excavations and explorations.  Since 1903 the Powe family has owned Kents Cavern and ownership of the land on the surface has been registered at the Land Registry for many years. The caverns are protected by the UK Government as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the highest level of protection in the Britain and access to and from the cavern has always been strictly controlled through two entrances situated on the surface.  However there was never a Land Registry registered ownership of those underground parts of the caverns that projected beyond the land owned by Kents Cavern Ltd on the surface. 

In 2017, with the assistance of Philip Rallison, Partner at Wollen Michelmore Solicitors, the company has been successful in getting a registered title to the underground passages of Kents Cavern.

The underground attraction attracts thousands of visitors each year and Nick Powe says “Recognition that the ownership of the land along with the underground caverns lies with Kents Cavern Ltd and having this recorded with the Land Registry ensures that the future conservation and protection of the caverns continues. This is not only of great assistance to the sustainability of the business, now a major geosite for Torbay’s UNESCO Global Geopark status, but it is invaluable to the management team as we continually balance our onerous curatorial responsibilities with sharing the delights of the cave’s incredible ancient human history with visitors. I am very proud that for generations my family have been responsible for the custodianship of this remarkable cave, and have done so to a high standard.  Kents Cavern has been a place for humankind to gather for over 500,000 years and this can now continue for generations to come.

Philip Rallison said, “as a solicitor with many years experience of dealing with property and business related work in Torbay, completing the registration of this title has been an interesting and challenging aspect of my legal career.  It’s been a pleasure working with Nick and the rest of the family and we wish them many more generations of successful business in Torbay.”

Nick Powe was also recently awarded the honour of “Outstanding Contribution to Tourism at the South Devon Tourism and Hospitality Awards 2017

For further details about this press release please contact Clive Meredith, Practice Director at clive.meredith@wmlegal.co.uk 01803 213251

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