Gold Challenge
House history (part 1)

Challenge: Explore the history of your house. Look very carefully at the build style of your house in order to find clues. Examine where the house is located and the style of the building. You may be able to find out about the land prior to the house being built. Was it part of a Manor or estate? Make a timeline, chart or write about what you have found out.

How do I do this: Use your local studies library & archives to find any maps or documents related to your chosen house or building in order to find out about itís past. The three key ways to find out information about your house are: verbal evidence, physical evidence & documented evidence.

Try and get verbal evidence by speaking to family members, previous owners or neighbours to see if they can provide you with any information about your house. Find physical evidence by looking closely at your house to examine the clues that are present. Check for any original features such as windows, fireplaces, door handles etc. Look at the type of bricks that were used to build the house and the way they were put together. All of these are clues to when the house will have been built. Look at other houses in the neighbourhood to get an idea of when they were built. Do any of the houses or buildings have dates on them?

Finally, look for documented evidence. Go to your local studies library or archives there you can look at a variety of maps from ordinance survey maps, enclosure maps or tithe maps. The local study librarians can also assist you in finding your property in other documents such as: rate books or find reference to your house in the Town Council Minutes of Meeting. There were numerous taxes placed on houses & buildings in which you may find reference to your house. Suggested places to find this information: Your local archives or local studies library should be the first place you should visit. At the library look out for the Countryside series of books by Trevor Yorke which are excellent in explaining the different types of buildings.

Suggested resources and useful websites:
Tracing the History of Your House By Nick Barratt, The National Archives, 2001 (ISBN: 1903365228) paperback