House history research
House histories can cover the story of a building and its occupants from the earliest records to the present day, or at least as far back as records will allow. I can help you build up a picture of how your home has evolved over time and who the people were who shaped its development. I have recently been commissioned to write a guide to house history research for Pen and Sword Books. Building histories can be used for business promotion or to detail historical alterations and damage.
My house history research is assisted by Dr. Sarah Pearson, an architectural historian with eight years university lecturing experience. Sarah has also taught adult education classes for the past five years. In addition to active research interests in Renaissance and Fascist architecture Sarah also undertakes architectural evaluations of extant historic structures. She is co-author of a book on Francesco di Giorgio (published 2010).
I like to begin any commission with a detailed discussion to guide you through the process. This takes in the scope of research and how you would like the results presented.
House History Areas of Research
- Revealing the lives of the families who walked on the same floorboards and sat next to the same hearth as you do now.
- Uncovering changes in the physical structure of a building through expert architectural analysis.
- Exploring the historical events in the local area which affected your house and its residents.
What records are used:
- Property Deeds
- Maps and Plans
- Census Returns
- Manorial Records
- Parish Registers and Records
- Architectural Plans
- Taxation Records
- Report: A clear narrative presenting the findings of historical and architectural research.
- Presentation Folder: The story of a house is illustrated with photographs and there is the option of adding bespoke artwork. Copies of original documents are included to give first-hand details. Relevant local and social history is added to the narrative to provide context to the events surrounding the house.
- Written History: A professionally produced book, containing a broad and in depth story of your house. This gives you a treasured heirloom, which captures the history of your home for you and your family to enjoy and pass on.
Due to the highly specialised nature of house history research after initial consultion I will provide you with a guide price. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details. Below is an example of two pages from a house history which a client asked me to present as a book.
Comments from some of my clients
Gill pursued the history of our early Georgian house in Norfolk with dedicated vigour and professional research integrity. She was very responsive to my desire to join in the work, and share the effort, and produced an imaginatively presented and concise report, on time, and at very reasonable cost.
Jane Ridley, Norfolk
The most amazing gift. The history of Picket Piece was a wild success.
Lynn Petersen, Buckinghamshire
It looks terrific - the pictures are of excellent quality. We are thrilled by it. Thank you so much for all your hard work it will be something to treasure for many years.
Anne and Malcolm Bailey, Norfolk
What an amazing and absorbing account of the site and foundation of the Old Meeting House. I have already read it through once, and am now well embarked upon the second reading; there are many more to come. I look forward to meeting you before long; and a huge thank you for all your hard work in preparing such a remarkable historical narrative.
John Bridger (received a house history as a gift)