“Since 1760, the net income of The Crown Estate has been surrendered to the Exchequer by the Monarch under successive Civil List Acts, passed at the beginning of each reign.
The Crown Estate is though owned by the Monarch in right of the Crown. This means that the Queen owns it by virtue of holding the position of reigning Monarch, for as long as she is on the throne, as will her successor”.
The Crown Estate essentially begins with the Norman Conquest. The land, like a great deal of land, has become a legal entity through violence and war.
The Crown Estate should not be confused with Crown Property. These are different things.
Part of The Crown Estate includes Regent Street and St James in London.
It is much harder to trace the land transfers to The Crown Estate as part of the Reformation. In 1536 the Act of Suppression closed monasteries with an income of less than £200. Their buildings, land and money were seized by the Crown. In 1539 the Second Suppression Act led to the dissolution of the larger monasteries and religious houses.
There are no proper records as to how much land, money and wealth was transferred. And if one tries to trace the history of Regent Street one will find a great deal about the 1800s and much less about the 1530s.
The Crown Estate owns around one third of the foreshore of the British Isles.
Map from http://map.whoownsengland.org/
Land ownership remains obscured by lack of data, shell-companies and off-shore registrations.