How old Is My House

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Period Property UK
Discussion forum with useful advice on restoring old properties


House Names

Names of houses and roads can be a useful bit of evidence in finding out how old your house is, but they can also be misleading. Waterloo House may have been built to commemorate the battle of Waterloo in 1815 or it might have been a later building in Waterloo Street and then waterloo street had its name changed. Or maybe it was built in Victorian times by someone whose ancestor had fought at Waterloo.

Also be aware that during the course of its history owners have often changed the name of their house. This could be where the house was named after the owner and the owner moved. Hence Lister Cottage becomes Wilson Cottage when Lister moves out and Wilson moves in. Similarly a house named after a natural feature may over time get a name change. Oak Tree House becomes Wisteria Cottage when the original oak tree has disappeared and a new owner has planted Wisteria around the front door of the house.

Street Names

Street names can be helpful as they may identify features that are no longer existent. So Mill Close suggests that there is or was a mill nearby, Waste Lane may indicate that the town rubbish tip was close. Orchard House may indicate that there was a nearby fruit orchard in existence when the house was built or that it was built on the site of an orchard.

House names

Be aware again however that road names are subject to change (although probably not as much as house names).

So when you are trying to trace the history of your house and can’t find the details in the resources you are looking at, you might need to do a bit more detective work to find your house. Be area too that misspellings can occur. Lyche Cottage maybe entered mistakenly as Leach Cottage for instance.