House Age

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DJM123
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Joined: Wed 1st Sep, 2021 3:01 pm

House Age

Post by DJM123 » Fri 3rd Sep, 2021 9:44 am

Hi everyone,

We're in the process of purchasing a stone terraced cottage by the coast in Devon and are doing some research into the history of the building. It's so fascinating to find out about the previous inhabitants.

I'm keen to find out when the house was built and have found a newspaper clipping from 1864 relating to the upcoming auction of the cottage (from census records we're pretty sure it relates to the cottage) along with a second cottage and coachhouse. One line is as follows: 'The property is sold for the residue of a Term of 1,000 years, commencing on the 31st day of December, 1814'. Would this mean that the property is likely to have been built in 1814? Also if anyone has any useful tips on researching, please share.

On a side note it would be interesting to know if any forum members have unearthed some interesting tales from yester-year regarding their property.

All the best,

Dan

malcolm
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Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: House Age

Post by malcolm » Mon 6th Sep, 2021 5:05 pm

It's fun researching history. But difficult. I'm fortunate in having a record of the previous occupants back to 1646. I reckon my place started out around 1600 just because the brick chimney was added on later. I saved some timber from the rotten gable. It would be good to get a date.

I reckon a 1000 year lease would date the build quite accurately. Are you leasehold?

Councils tend to have records. Best bet for looking back more than 100 years is to ask to search the council records.

DJM123
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Joined: Wed 1st Sep, 2021 3:01 pm

Re: House Age

Post by DJM123 » Mon 6th Sep, 2021 7:36 pm

Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for the reply. We’re at the early stage of purchasing the property which is freehold. I guess we’ll get the full picture when the deeds come through.

MatthewC
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Re: House Age

Post by MatthewC » Wed 8th Sep, 2021 4:57 pm

DJM123 wrote:
Mon 6th Sep, 2021 7:36 pm
Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for the reply. We’re at the early stage of purchasing the property which is freehold. I guess we’ll get the full picture when the deeds come through.
Don't bank on it! I was most disappointed when I got the deeds of mine and they cast no light at all on the possible build date, apart from introduce a new unsubstantiated date.

Since then I have worked out roughly when the original schoolhouse was converted to two semis (c.1862) but the date of the rectangular schoolhouse itself is still a mystery. Annoyingly I have found that the house is largely invisible in local history - people looked one way at the street beside the churchyard, the other way at the narrow street over the brook, and away from my house to look at the church. So there are no old drawings, no paintings and no photos that show it!

LadyArowana
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Re: House Age

Post by LadyArowana » Wed 8th Sep, 2021 5:58 pm

MatthewC wrote:
Wed 8th Sep, 2021 4:57 pm
Annoyingly I have found that the house is largely invisible in local history - people looked one way at the street beside the churchyard, the other way at the narrow street over the brook, and away from my house to look at the church. So there are no old drawings, no paintings and no photos that show it!
I feel your pain. Our house is similarly between two very well known landmarks and there are vast numbers of pictures where you can almost see it. I’ve only found a couple of ones with the frontage, and one artist did a print which has the street name, that’s all.

DJM123
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Re: House Age

Post by DJM123 » Thu 9th Sep, 2021 9:24 am

LadyArowana wrote:
Wed 8th Sep, 2021 5:58 pm
MatthewC wrote:
Wed 8th Sep, 2021 4:57 pm
Annoyingly I have found that the house is largely invisible in local history - people looked one way at the street beside the churchyard, the other way at the narrow street over the brook, and away from my house to look at the church. So there are no old drawings, no paintings and no photos that show it!
I feel your pain. Our house is similarly between two very well known landmarks and there are vast numbers of pictures where you can almost see it. I’ve only found a couple of ones with the frontage, and one artist did a print which has the street name, that’s all.
Same boat! I have found a lovely old picture of the street but annoyingly the picture ends shortly before the house starts!
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malcolm
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: House Age

Post by malcolm » Fri 10th Sep, 2021 7:14 pm

I'm lucky again. Being in the view of a landmark I've found photos back to around 1906 before the new front was built.

Before then is more tricky as they hadn't invented cameras. The local council ought to have a records office tor the next couple hundred years back. Before then it seems we are on our own. There are very few records or maps before 1700. Some tithe maps indicating the ownership of an ancient landlord that tend to indicate individual houses but aren't all that detailed.

For 1700 back I've found nothing. I don't know how to find stuff back there. My confusion is I have a timber frame built at some point before 1646 and a brick chimney added later before 1700. Had they built the house just after 1600 they would probably have included the chimney. I've saved some oak from the original frame and would like to have it dated. Attempts so far to have it dated have been unsuccessful, but so far as I can see that's the way to date construction before 1600.

Ooops - forgot the opening post. Local council might have some records.

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: House Age

Post by Feltwell » Fri 10th Sep, 2021 7:49 pm

I'm very lucky that a transcript of the original deeds has survived for my place, as of course they carry no real legal weight any more with regards to ownership. So many will have been thrown away :(

"Britain from Above" is well worth a look - my house was immediately behind (& was owned by) a brewery, aerial pictures were taken in the early 50's of the brewery from all angles which have helped answer some questions on my house, but has also raised some new ones!

https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/

The brewery was knocked down in the '70's. I've been slowly collecting bits & pieces to do with it, was please to get a pub drinks tray ("First For Your Thirst"!) with the brewery logo on the other day.

I've not done well with pictures of my road at all, I've got an estate agents picture from the 1980's and that's it. I've got an old postcard with a pen and ink drawing of the "New Church", built in 1839 just along from where my house is, that looks to have been drawn from roughly where my house stands

Old maps always fascinate me, I've got one from just before my house was built, it seems there was nothing here except for a "summer house". Makes sense - I'm on the outskirts of an ancient small town, in an area that was developed in Victorian times, I can't imagine there was anything here but fields before - though we are right next to Watling Street, the Roman road. The brewery used a Roman well (which still survives) as it's water source.

LadyArowana
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Re: House Age

Post by LadyArowana » Fri 10th Sep, 2021 9:07 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Fri 10th Sep, 2021 7:49 pm

"Britain from Above" is well worth a look - my house was immediately behind (& was owned by) a brewery, aerial pictures were taken in the early 50's of the brewery from all angles which have helped answer some questions on my house, but has also raised some new ones!

https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/

That’s a brilliant site, and ours does show up on there, the building behind our house was destroyed during WWII and you can clearly see the roof in early pictures.

philpjuk100
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Location: newark nottinghamshire

Re: House Age

Post by philpjuk100 » Sun 12th Sep, 2021 10:33 pm

When I went to collect my deeds from the solicitors I expected vellum and big red seals but got a photocopy of the sale of an estate from the 1950s. The listing says 17th century but James Wright, buildings archeologist says " a three bay hall house no later than 1350!"

fernicarry
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Location: Argyllshire

Re: House Age

Post by fernicarry » Wed 15th Sep, 2021 10:35 am

The National Library of Scotland has an excellent collection of old maps with some truly excellent tools for superimposing them on modern day images.

Here is the vicinity of Fernicarry. Try the slider in the bottom left corner.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=1 ... rs=168&b=1

We aren't the house marked Fernicarry, but our house did used to be called Fernicarry Something before being changed sometime in the 20th Century.

We have a stack of old deeds going back to before the house was built. Not exactly vellum but still wrapped up with red ribbons and maybe wax seals. I'd refresh my memory but as usual the place is upside down and I'm not quite sure where anything is.

The earliest document is a survey of the larger plot that was split in the 1860's drawn in hand on a sort of tracing paper. Very fragile. I suppose that's how copies were made in those days. The drawing is still referenced in the Title text.

We also have some deeds signed by Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter, who married the Duke of Argyll, and was our superior landlord until all that feu duty stuff was abolished. Everyone for miles around would have paid rent to him so I imagine many people have her signature.

I've yet to go through all the deeds in detail, its only been 10 years...

We also appear in quite a few local picture postcards from the turn of the century. Always in the distance though.

And we're somewhere in the background of this shot from The Spy Who Loved Me.

https://i2.wp.com/bamfstyle.com/wp-cont ... .jpg?ssl=1

A former owner was also a Commander, but a remortgage deed shows him promoted to Captain. That particular chap left quite a mark on the house. I met his wife and daughter briefly who told us some good stories of when the lived there and the changes they made.

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