Marking 400 years of the sasine register

Blog by Isla MacLeod, Head of customer experience at Registers of Scotland.

On 28 June 1617, the Land Registration Act brought the General Register of Sasines into existence. This was the first register of its type in the world and marks a significant moment in Scotland’s history, when the rights of the citizen became protected by law. We are looking at a number of ways that we can mark this 400th anniversary, creating a legacy as we move Scotland’s remaining ownership records across to our modern land register.

We are working with Creative Scotland to run an open competition to create a piece of public art that captures the spirit of the General Register of Sasines. This will close on 31 March when a shortlist will be drawn up. The winning piece will be unveiled during 2017 and forms one of the main elements of our celebrations.

This just one of the activities we are doing to mark the anniversary. Among other things, we’re working with Scotland’s university law departments to identify a master’s research proposal that we can sponsor for the 2016-17 academic year, and on 24 October 2017, we will welcome leaders from land registries across the globe to our Registrars of Title conference.

To find out more about these and our other anniversary initiatives, or to express interest in supporting one of them, please visit our website at, or email

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