House history resources
How you can trace the history of a building by making use of Heritage Hub resources including maps, title deeds and directories.
For advice on carrying out research into house histories in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire download How to begin researching your house history (PDF, 75.3 KB) . You can find details of private researchers who can carry out research on your behalf. You can also access lots of useful free advice at the Trace My House website. Our Research guides can tell you more about the sources held at Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub.
Before you come in -
- do your homework - collect as much information as you can about the house from old deeds and local people. Find out whether it had ever had a different use such as a school or chapel because this can affect the types of records that you use.
- ask a local expert - many towns and villages have a local history society so someone might have already investigated the history of your house. For more information contact the Gloucestershire Local History Association for Gloucestershire and Avon Local History and Archaeology for South Gloucestershire.
- read a book - there are several books about house history that will give you information about the range of sources that can help you find out about your house.
- go on a course. Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub runs a house history course periodically so keep an eye on our events calendar.
- decide what you want to do - do you want to find out when your house was built or do you want to try to discover who lived there before you? You can research both!
- the research mini guides explain how to use key archive sources and how to find them in Gloucestershire Archives' online catalogue.
- check Gloucestershire Archives' online catalogue - wihch contains descriptions of sources available for your area. You can pre-order the documents which you would like to see. Short online tutorials will show how to get the most out of your catalogue search.
- is your house in South Gloucestershire? Many records relating to South Gloucestershire are held by Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub under a partnership agreement with South Gloucestershire Council. But some records may be held at Bristol Archives or elsewhere. Use our downloads to help you find what's where. (The South Gloucestershire research mini guide will give you an overview. The Guide to Archive Sources for the History of South Gloucestershire is a more comprehensive and detailed resource.) And remember, these places were all in the historic county of Gloucestershire until 1974 so "Gloucestershire" information and sources may still be relevant.
- Ordnance Survey maps, c.1880-1970s
- Finance Act maps and books of reference c.1915
- Tithe maps and apportionments, c.1840
- Inclosure maps and awards, c.1780-1820
- Estate maps and surveys, 17th-19th century
Census enumerators' returns
Trade and Street Directories
- These survive from the late 18th century and cover the whole county with individual volumes for Gloucester, Cheltenham and some of the market towns in the county. Gloucestershire Family History Society @ the Heritage Hub has copies of trade and street directories from all over the country. You can see a definitive list.
Electoral Registers and Poll Books
- The poll books from 1763 and electoral registers from 1832 include the names of those entitled to vote. They cover the whole county but do not include every person over 21 years old until 1928. Many of these are available through Ancestry.
- 18th and 19th century sale particulars can include a description of the property; late 19th and 20th century ones can include detailed plans and photographs
- These can date from the 12th century to the 20th century and can include details of the owners and occupiers of a property as well as details of the property itself, sometimes with a small plan
Printed sources and photographs
- The Victoria County History of Gloucestershire covers about half the parishes in the historic county of Gloucestershire and gives a short but detailed account of the history and development of each place. This includes information about significant houses and buildings
- Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub has a wide range of books and articles about significant houses and buildings in the county as well as books relating to architecture
- Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub has a large number of prints and photographs of properties from the 18th century to the 20th century