Delving into building history

The Fourteen Stars Inn, Bristol 1831-3 (Tate Gallery)Would you like to find out more about the history of your house?

Do you want to research any historic building? Is it in the United Kingdom or Ireland?

If so this guide by Jean Manco will start you on the detective trail. Some information could be just a few clicks away, but to get the full story you will need to visit libraries and archives. Researching Historic Buildings points the way.

It includes hints on planning a research programme, and clues to finding and understanding useful sources. There are bibliographies on everything from architects to Victorian architecture. There are quick guides to archives. There are introductions to a wide range of building types and architectural styles, plus the development of towns and villages. Eccesiastical sources are such a big topic that the Church gets a section to itself.

Please note that advertising of any type is not accepted anywhere on this website. This includes paid links, text, images, and articles. I am always pleased to receive news of genuine interest to my readers, but that does not include commercial websites and services.

News and updates.


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News and site updates

Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1885

The Valuation Rolls for 1885 have just been added to the ScotlandsPeople website. The new records comprise 1,441,484 indexed names/addresses and 77,238 digital images, and cover every kind of property that was assessed in 1885 as having a rateable value. 15 February 2014.

Web-site fixed

The website is now working for me on Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 10, so I hope no-one is having further problems. The good news is that the move was accompanied by a clean-up of broken links and other problems. 21 December 2013.

Web-site woes

My apologies to those of you having difficulties with this website currently. I changed my hosting suddenly, which broke large parts of the site. I am working on it. 9 December 2013.

Paint analysis seminar

Paint analysis may sound arcane, but it is a useful tool to uncover a building’s past, helping to date sequences of construction and provide information on how a room would have looked in the past. An afternoon seminar led by Patrick Baty is offered by SPAB on 11 March 2014 at 37 Spital Square, London, E1 6DY. More details including online payment or booking form can be found on the SPAB website. 5 December 2013.

Bridge Chapels Conference

The Ecclesiological Society is holding a half-day conference on Bridge Chapels on Saturday 1 February 2014, Central London. This afternoon conference will explore bridge chapels and other religious buildings associated with bridges in the Middle Ages in Britain. The cost of the day is 17.50 for members of the Society, 19.50 for non-members, 15.00 for under- and post-graduate students. This includes refreshments at the interval. The conference will be held at Queens's College, Harley Street, London. You can download details and an application form the Ecclesiological Society web site. 17 November 2013.

National Archives Image Library

The National Archives houses the wealth of documents generated by national government, which icludes thousands of maps, plans, architectural drawings and other images. Now they have over 40,000 images available to download from their searchable Image Library. 16 October 2013.

Older news and site updates