Case Summary


High Court
Current Legislation:
Party Wall etc. Act 1996, s.20
Historic Legislation:
London Building Act 1894

Thornton owned 63 High Street, Clapham. Hunter owned the freehold of number 65. The properties were separated by two independent half-brick (4 ½ inch) walls. The two walls touched, but were not bonded.

Thornton demolished his property, including his skin of the wall. He erected a shore to support Hunter’s wall, but it was ineffective and the next day part of it collapsed. Hunter immediately started to build a single replacement party wall with footings on Thornton’s side of the boundary. Thornton sued.


The original wall was not a party wall, but two seperate walls. As it was not originally a party wall the 1894 Act did not apply. As a result, Hunter did not have the right to place any footings on Thornton’s land.