ancient lights

n [U]
(in English law) the principle that you have the right to receive light through any window that has been there for 20 years or more. It may be used in cases where a person wants to build something in front of your house, etc.

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law
      in English property law, the right of a building or house owner to the light received from and through his windows. Windows used for light by an owner for 20 years or more could not be obstructed by the erection of an edifice or by any other act by an adjacent landowner. This rule of law originated in England in 1663, based on the theory that a landowner acquired an easement to the light by virtue of his use of the windows for that purpose for the statutory length of time. The doctrine did not acquire wide acceptance by courts in the United States.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ancient lights — noun The legal right to receive in perpetuity, by certain windows, a reasonable amount of daylight • • • Main Entry: ↑ancient * * * ancient lights, British. windows whose light must not be overshadowed by new building. * * * ancient lights… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ancient lights — Ancient An cient, a. [OE. auncien, F. ancien, LL. antianus, fr. L. ante before. See {Ante }, pref.] 1. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; belonging to times long past; specifically applied to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ancient lights — A doctrine of English common law that gives a landowner an easement or right by prescription to the unobstructed passage of light and air from adjoining land if the landowner has had uninterrupted use of the lights for twenty years. Dictionary… …   Law dictionary

  • Ancient lights — Light Light (l[imac]t), n. [OE. light, liht, AS. le[ o]ht; akin to OS. lioht, D. & G. licht, OHG. lioht, Goth. liuha[thorn], Icel. lj[=o]s, L. lux light, lucere to shine, Gr. leyko s white, Skr. ruc to shine. [root]122. Cf. {Lucid}, {Lunar},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ancient lights — See lights, ancient …   Black's law dictionary

  • ancient lights — The doctrine that an owner of land acquires a right of action against an adjoining landowner for the stopping of ancient windows by the erection of a structure on his own land applies where the first owner has had an uninterrupted enjoyment of… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • ancient lights — plural noun [treated as sing.] English Law the right of access to light of a property, established by custom and used to prevent the construction of buildings which would obstruct such access …   English new terms dictionary

  • Ancient — An cient, a. [OE. auncien, F. ancien, LL. antianus, fr. L. ante before. See {Ante }, pref.] 1. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; belonging to times long past; specifically applied to the times… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ancient demesne — Ancient An cient, a. [OE. auncien, F. ancien, LL. antianus, fr. L. ante before. See {Ante }, pref.] 1. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at a great distance of time; belonging to times long past; specifically applied to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ancient — 1. adj. & n. adj. 1 of long ago. 2 having lived or existed long. n. archaic an old man. Phrases and idioms: ancient history 1 the history of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean area and the Near East before the fall of the Western… …   Useful english dictionary

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