Houses with history
Have you ever wondered about the history of your house? Who lived there before you? What was it used for and how has it changed? Maybe it has a secret passage? Whether you live in a converted barn, a rambling country pile or a Georgian town house, your home may hold some incredible hidden stories. Television programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? and Restoration Home have sparked our interest in researching our ancestors, and increasingly we also want to find out about the history of our home.
The internet makes this easy, with one click taking you to websites that access old maps, census records and architectural surveys. The website old-maps.co.uk is a huge historical map archive of British Ordnance Survey maps dating back to the 1800s. The National Archives will also keep you busy at nationalarchives.gov.uk. Prepare for a labour of love though because as with researching family trees, it will be time consuming. There are plenty of professionals ready to help if you are cash rich and time poor, like web-based company House Detectives (house-detectives.co.uk) which may be worth considering if you’re planning on selling. Estate agents agree that a bit of history and a story will add value to the property.
If you are in the market for a home with history and heritage, look out for converted properties that have been in and out of domestic use. Old pubs often have a fascinating background, as do converted churches and chapels, with the bonus that being listed buildings, they may still have original stained-glass windows, pews, and in some cases even an altar. In rare cases, the property may still sit in a graveyard, which really would test your detective skills.
Check out the Michael Graham website at www.michaelgraham.co.uk for a wide selection of properties with interesting stories to tell, including some stunning chapel conversions. You can also find us on Facebook or tweet us in the usual way.