Bamford v Turnley – Case Summary

Bamford v Turnley

Court of King’s Bench

Citations: (1860) 3 Best & Smith 62; 122 ER 25.


The defendant burned bricks on his land near to the claimant’s house. This caused fumes which disturbed the claimant’s use of their land and made their servants ill. The claimant sued the defendant in nuisance.

  1. Was the defendant’s use of the land unreasonable?

The court held that the defendant’s use of the land was unreasonable. He was therefore liable in nuisance to pay compensation.

This Case is Authority For…

Bramwell B held that a person would not be liable in nuisance is their acts were ‘necessary for the common and ordinary use and occupation of land…if conveniently done’. He explained that:

‘There is an obvious necessity for such a principle…It is as much for the advantage of one owner as of another; for the very nuisance the one complains of, as the result of the ordinary use of his neighbour’s land, he himself will create in the ordinary use of his own, and the reciprocal nuisances are of a comparatively trifling character. The convenience of such a rule may be indicated by calling it a rule of give and take, live and let live.’


The nature and extent of the claimant’s ability to enjoy the land before the defendant began the interference is relevant to whether the interference is unreasonable.