Dating historic houses

Most of the recommended publications below are available at The National Archives’ Library.You can also visit the National Archives’ bookshop for a range of publications on the history of your house.Records relating to the history of houses, whether of the ownership and occupation of a property or its construction and architectural history, are kept in a variety of archives.

Search Discovery, our Many local record offices have collections of building plans from the mid-19 century providing evidence of how buildings might have looked when new.Documents known as Valuation Office field books (see below for more on these) contain descriptions of more than nine million individual houses, farms and other properties in England and Wales, detailing the use and value of land and buildings, and naming their owners and occupiers.The way to find a specific field book is to first find the respective survey plan, an annotated Ordnance Survey map sheet.Where an address search is not available, browse the census street indexes on Your Archives (now only available in our web archive) to find the relevant document reference and search the relevant census website with that reference. Between 19 the Valuation Office carried out a survey to determine the value of land for tax purposes.The ‘field books’ from the survey contain the names of property owners and occupiers, details of tenancy and the value and area covered by the property.

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